Inspired by charcuterie platters in wine country, this salad is quick and easy for weeknights.
This is a perfect justification to open a bottle of wine tonight.
Not so fast! I saw you sprinting for the chilled Chardonnay in the fridge. Before you grab a bottle and pour a glass, you should know… asparagus can make wines taste vegetal or metallic. That just means we have to pick the right wine. It pairs well with unoaked Chardonnay or a Sauvingon Blanc, or whites that are more on the citrus side.
I like to think I am drinking wine for science.
At 400 calories per serving, you can even have an extra glass of wine. I’m happy to help! Since it’s quick to assemble and a little bit bougie, it’s perfect if last minute guests want to drop by too. Hopefully they show up with some more wine.
Weeknight Prosciutto and Melon Salad
- 24 asparagus spears
- 1 cantaloupe
- 10 oz baby arugula
- 4 oz fresh Parmesan *
- 8 oz prosciutto
- 1 Tbs fig balsamic vinegar *
- 1 tsp honey *
- 2-3 Tbs olive oil
- For a practical salad, cut the asparagus, melon and prosciutto into bite-sized pieces. For a pretty presentation, cut the melon into cubes or balls, and leave the asparagus and prosciutto whole.
- Saute in 1/2 TBS of olive oil (1.5 tsp) until tender, about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
MAKE THE DRESSING
- While the asparagus sautes. Whisk the vinegar and honey together. Slowly add in olive oil while whisking until you reach the desired consistency.
ASSEMBLE & SERVE
- Toss the arugula with the dressing. Then add in asparagus, melon, prosciutto and top with Parmesan cheese.
How to cut melon – I used a melon baller, but that creates a lot of waste, so I set aside the extra for things like canatloupe agua fresa. Otherwise, for the best and fastest way to cut a melon, check out this short video from yellowsaffron.
More recipe notes:
- Wine & asparagus – Matching Food and Wine talks about this more in depth, and offers up more specific pairings depending on the other ingredients in addition to the asparagus.
- Reducing sodium – This recipe is high in sodium, which may or may not be a problem for you. To reduce it, cut the amount of prosciutto in half (to 1 oz per serving) and remove the cheese (you could replace it with bread or croutons).
- Seasonality – Asparagus season nears an end when cantaloupe season starts. They overlap in late May and June, depending on your region.
- Nutrition – The melon provides a super dose of vitamin A and C. The arugula and asparagus are full of vitamins A and K. Together they all provide over 100% of your vitamin A, C and K, per serving. Like I said earlier, it’s a perfect justification to open a bottle of wine 😉
Fresh ingredients make it easy to have a great-tasting recipe.
- Did you know asparagus is sweeter right after it is picked? Get more asparagus tips (pun totally intended), along with more recipes.
- Ripe cantaloupe will have a golden hue under the webbing – green hues are an indication it was picked too early. Read the full cantaloupe in-season guide for more info & recipes.
Round Out The Meal
If you don’t want to eat this as a light dinner, it’s a great side. You might want to halve the amount of prosciutto and Parmesan if it’s a side dish, reducing the calories by about 115 and cutting the sodium in half. It pairs wonderfully with spring soups, like asparagus or pea soup, or with a side of quinoa patties.