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.
* If you can't find fig balsamic vinegar (or don't want to buy it), you can sub regular balsamic, or make a mustard dressing. To do that replace the mustard and honey with 2 tsp whole grain mustard and 2 tsp white wine vinegar and mix that with the olive oil.
* Goat cheese would work well too, feel free to sub that in.
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.