In the refined region of Reggio Emilia, the appearance of the orange-fleshed cantaloupe is a sure sign of summer. Slices of sweet fragrant melon combined with salty prosciutto crudo are served in the local trattorie surrounding the hills of Parma.
The perfume of ripe cantaloupe goes hand in hand with crisp white table cloths draped over long tables situated in the shade of ancient buildings. The gentle clatter of silverware against plates intermingle with the echo of conversations forming the background to open air summer lunch.
The classic antipasto ‘prosciutto e melone’ was the impulse for the creation of a salad composed of bright melon, crunchy marinated shallots, crushed pink peppers, threads of fresh chives and ruby-red juicy raspberries. My recipe juxtaposes sweet and sour with aromatic herb and spice.