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Two-Melon, Proscuitto and Feta Salad

melon prosciuotto saladMelon and prosciutto is such a refreshing summertime appetizer that I wondered if there was a way to make it entree-hearty without ruining its essential appeal. I did it by adding watermelon and feta cheese to the lineup. These two play together beautifully – the sweet watermelon and the salty feta hand in hand, so to speak. And the smoked paprika in the dressing pulls all the elements together. (If you don’t have time to track down the smoked paprika, you can substitute regular old sweet paprika from the supermarket.) This is a summertime dish, perfect for a picnic or for dinner at home, on those warm nights when you don’t want to turn on the stove.

Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: about 15 minutes
Total preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, sweet or hot
Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 medium watermelon (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into bite size cubes
1/2 medium cantaloupe, (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into bite size cubes
fresh mint leaves
6 ounces feta or aged goat cheese, thinly sliced
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

Directions
Whisk together the lime juice, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil.
Layer the melons, mint, feta cheese, and prosciutto decoratively in mason jars and drizzle each jar with some of the dressing.

COOK’S NOTES

How to pick a good watermelon:

1. Look the watermelon over.
You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.

2.Lift it up.
The watermelon should be heavy for it’s size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the weight is water.

3.Turn it over.
The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

Watermelon facts:

  • It is cousins to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
  • By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.
  • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens

Health Benefits:
Good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and potassium

New kind of feta:
If you want to try out a new kind of feta, one that has the same flavor and salty edge of regular feta but with a creamy texture, then you should check out this cheese, Ezra Feta cheese (and a new sponsor of my show). The lite version is every bit as creamy as the full fat. http://bunkerhillcheese.com/about-ezras.html

Smoked paprika
A few years ago American chefs and food writers started using smoked paprika in their recipes and you’ll be surprised how much flavor a little of this special seasoning can bring to a dish. Available in sweet, bittersweet, or hot, smoked paprika is made in Spain from peppers that are dried slowly over an oak-burning fire for several weeks. It can be used anywhere you would use regular paprika and in addition, can bring the flavor usually associated with smoked meats to vegetarian dishes. It is available in gourmet stores, some supermarkets, and by mail from LaTienda.com (888-472-1022) or The Spice House (847- 328-3711).

Sponsors

At Subaru we build vehicles like the versatile Outback, with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive standard and plenty of cargo room, letting you fit more into your week and get the most out of every day. Because some of the most adventurous days fall in between the weekends.
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For more than half a century, Maple Leaf Farms has provided the luxurious taste of duck to culinary adventurers everywhere. From the farm to the table, producing safe, high-quality foods in a thoughtful and responsible manner has been at the forefront. Maple Leaf Farms has preserved the ideas it was founded upon: contribution to local communities, responsibility for the environment, respect for others and insistence on high quality. Today, this fourth generation, family-owned company leads the market with innovative, value-added duck products of superior quality. In short, Maple Leaf Farms provides products for your family that it’s happy to serve its own with the goal of transforming ordinary dishes into lasting memories with the versatile flavor of duck.
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EZRA’S Family has been producing Feta cheese in the Mediterranean region for more than 100 years. The recipes have been passed from generation to generation. This is the first time we introduce an authentic Mediterranean Feta cheese produced in the USA to the US consumers. Ezra’s Feta is creamy and smooth with a very authentic flavor. Unlike the traditional style feta which is very crumbly and in many cases sold as crumbled Feta, EZRA’S Feta is sold as chunks, sliced cubes that can be used in salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, baking, cooking and many other options. EZRA’S Feta is also available as a lite Feta with only 1.5g of fat per oz, but with all of the flavors and creaminess like the original. EZRA’S Feta is sold in a “Stay Fresh Cup” with brine to maintain freshness and flavors. The cheese is kept in a small basket in the brine that can be lifted and hung on top of the cup, out of the brine for convenient use. When finished enjoying the Feta you can lower it back into the brine to maintain freshness at all times.
WWW.EZRASDAIRY.COM >

Thanks to

Fairway for donating all the food | Chantal for the cookware | Le Creuset for the Dutch ovens | Wustoff for the knives | Boos for the cutting boards | Kitchen Aid for the appliances | Oxo for the small kitchen tools |

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