You can push, prod, and squeeze all you want, but the secret to scoring a sweet, juicy cantaloupe or honeydew resides in your nose. “Choose ones that are superfragrant,” says Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia, Cafe Spiaggia, Bar Toma, River Roast). For the best of the best—and especially for this favorite prep of his—Mantuano recommends the Nichols Farm & Orchard stand at the Green City Market (greencitymarket.org). One more thing: He says to leave the fruit out of the fridge and eat it within two or three days. How sweet it will be.
Tony Mantuano’s Prosciutto and Melon
Yield: 4 appetizers
Prep time: 20 minutes
|2 cups||Ripe melon, diced large|
|1 Tbsp.||Lemon juice|
|1 cup||Arugula, lightly packed|
|4 oz.||Ricotta salata, thinly shaved|
|6 Tbsp.||Extra virgin olive oil|
|⅓ cup||Pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped|
|Black pepper, freshly ground|
1. Place 2 slices of prosciutto on each of 4 plates.
2. Lightly toss the melon with the lemon juice and divide on top of the prosciutto.
3. Scatter the arugula and then the ricotta salata over the melon.
4. Finish each plate with a generous drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of pistachios, and fresh ground pepper to taste.
5. Serve immediately.
Tip: You want the prosciutto to be very thin, almost transparent. Use Parma (the best Italian prosciutto) or La Quercia (the best American).
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