Many Melon Salad
This is a more decorative version of a starter which used to be very popular in Spain. It usually consists of a single slice of melon with ham draped over it and not much else. I wanted to take this dish up a notch, so I’ve used a variety of melons for their varying textures and colours plus, a few additions I believe take it to a whole new level. The combination of the cool sweetness of the melons and the salty oiliness of the ham make for a very refreshing summer salad. You can dress the salad simply with olive oil or try the dressing I’ve created for it. The addition of mint, chilli and lime in the dressing gives the salad a revitalising fire and ice note.
You will need
Melons 3 different varieties of your choice, one half of each
Spanish Iberico ham slices, about 100g
English cucumber – 1/4
Red radicchio lettuce – 1 small
Micro leaves of your choice to
For the dressing
Mint leaves – about 15 finely chopped
Olive oil – 4 tabelspoons
Chilli flakes – a large pinch
White wine vinegar – 1 teaspoon
Lime juice – 1 teaspoon
Pink salt – a pinch to season
Begin by combining all of the dressing ingredients, then set aside and allow to infuse while you prepare the salad.
Cut the melon halves in half again down their length. Take one half of each, remove most of the skin and slice using a mandoline, pressing firmly to get even slices. Take the remaining melon and scoop out 4 balls of each with a melon baller. Next, cut the cucumber into thin slices diagonally. Gently fold radicchio leaves in half lengthways and cut away the thick white base.
Take 2 radicchio leaves per serving, tear in half and arrange on a plate. Pile the melon slices on top of the lettuce leaves, then add a few slices of ham. Add 3 melon balls, one of each variety per serving and a few slice of cucumber. Garnish with micro leaves and drizzle over the dressing to serve.