Last night, after having eaten a big lunch for Father’s Day, we decided to have a light but tasty meal. I had a cantaloupe melon that was at that perfectly ripe stage, right before going bad! Ha! Ha! It was deliciously sweet! So I decided to pair it with some prosciutto! That combination of sweet and salty was the perfect light meal.
Prosciutto and melon is a classic summertime appetizer in Italy and has been so for centuries! Evidently, melon was considered a “dangerous” fruit back in Medieval times. It’s properties of being cold and juicy were not a good thing (maybe that’s why my Nonna used to forbid me to have ice cold water in the dead of summer because it would give me indigestion!). Anyway, to counterbalance the danger of the cold and juicy melon, it had to be combined with something warm and dry – like prosciutto! Hence, the delightful combination was born – thankfully something good came out of those dark ages!
While rummaging through my arsenal of “to be tried” recipes, I came across this one. It was printed in Italian, and therefore, probably from some Italian site I frequently look at (but, unfortunately, I don’t know which one). Thankfully, I had had the foresight to print this out, because it was delicious! Such a simple concept – and why didn’t I ever think of trying this on my own without a recipe? Hmm…sometimes the simplest things are those not thought of. Now I’m wondering what other vegetables would lend themselves to this dish. Eggplant comes to mind immediately, but perhaps something like peppers would be interesting, too. So many possibilities…
Zucchini – sliced lengthwise in thin strips
Grated Parmesan cheese
Grated cheese of your choice
Salt & pepper
Spread some olive oil on the bottom of a casserole dish (I used a square one and it was the perfect size). Sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the oil. Begin by placing a single layer of zucchini on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. Add a little salt and pepper (but go easy on the salt, or omit it altogether since the prosciutto will add saltiness to the dish). Drizzle some olive oil on top of this layer. Add a layer of prosciutto and cover that with some of the grated cheese. Repeat the process of layering zucchini (with parmesan cheese and olive oil), prosciutto and cheese until you run out of zucchini. Sprinkle the top with some breadcrumbs and drizzle with some olive oil. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the zucchini is softened. Enjoy!