The classic Spanish ham and melon combination turned into a fun and colourful summer salad with extra flavour enhancement.
It’s mid October and we’re reaching the end of the melon season. Unfortunately, we’ll now have to wait until the beginning of summer next year to be able to enjoy a good seasonal ripe melon again.
So I thought that before saying goodbye to melons for a while, we should do a final little ceremony to pledge homage to this wonderful fruit. And if we’re serious about this melon homage, nothing better to accompany it than some delicious iberico ham.
Iberico ham and melon is one of my favourite combinations ever. The sweetness of a ripe melon with the saltiness of the iberico ham makes for a sensational match of flavours and sensations on the palate.
Of course, this combination is better at the pinnacle of the melon season, when these are well ripe and sweet. Arguably, the melons which are available right now are not the best ones. However, I’m sure you’ll still love this recipe. Plus you can always make it again next summer!
‘Melón con jamón’ is a Spanish classic. Usually made with the ‘piel de sapo’ variety of melon (also known as ‘Santa Claus’) and serrano ham, this recipe is a regular on the summer menus of many Spanish restaurants.
This recipe today is about taking that popular combination of ham and melon and having a little extra bit of fun by turning it into a salad. The result is a very colourful and joyful recipe with plenty of texture fun and flavour excitement. I really love how the pomegranate and the basil oil elevate this salad to make it absolutely delicious!
• Buy a whole Pata Negra acorn-fed 100% iberico shoulder ham Cinco Jotas 5J here.
- For the salad:
- 1/2 Melon – 'Piel de Sapo' variety, also known as 'Santa Claus'. Alternatively one Galia melon instead.
- 50 g Iberico ham
- 1/2 Pomegranate – seeds only
- 1 Beetroot – shredded
- 1 small handful Lamb's lettuce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the basil oil:
- 25 g Fresh basil
- 50 g Extra virgin olive oil
- We start by making the basil oil. To do that, blanch the basil in boiling water for around 5 seconds. Take it out quickly and put it on ice cold water to interrupt the cooking immediately. Drain it and place it in a blender together with the oil. Blend and reserve.
- Open the melon and seed it. If you own an ice cream scoop, scoop the melon in bite-sized balls as per the recipe picture above. Alternatively, peel the melon and cut it into cubes.
- Divide the melon scoops in between the different bowls. Decorate with some leaves of lamb's lettuce and spread the small slices of iberico ham.
- Drizzle with a generous amount of basil oil and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and the shredded beetroot. Season with pepper and serve.