This season’s cantaloupe is the sweetest and juiciest I can remember. If my skin looks orange, it’s because I’ve eaten so much cantaloupe in the last few weeks.
One of our favorite places to get cantaloupe, watermelon and peaches is the Grandy Greenhouse and Farm Market in Grandy, NC. Whenever we head north to visit relatives in Virginia, we stop in Grandy on the way AND on the way back.
I decided to try something different with cantaloupe and add it to a minty pasta salad featuring salty feta cheese and crisp prosciutto – sort of a twist on the classic melon and prosciutto. You may remember the technique of crisping up prosciutto in the oven from Frisee, Arugula, Strawberry Feta Salad and Prosciutto Chips with Balsamic Dressing. I love doing this – it’s a nice alternative to turkey bacon and it gives crunch to salads without adding carbs.
I found this salad didn’t need any additional salt – the prosciutto and feta provided plenty. The white wine vinegar I used was way too pungent; I’m going to find something smoother like a white balsamic or Champagne vinegar next time.
Feel free to experiment with other types of melon and cheese and different shapes of pasta. I used whole wheat spirals, which are basically short rotini (corkscrew shaped). Smaller pasta shapes will work better.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
4 ounces whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)
3-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cups peeled cantaloupe cut into small triangles or cubes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint, divided
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced
crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
Heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Arrange the prosciutto on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 10 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven, let cool and then break into small pieces.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water to cool and drain again.
Whisk oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Add pasta, melon, half of prosciutto, half of mint, scallions and red pepper flakes. Combine well and season with pepper. Place in 4 shallow pasta bowls and garnish with remaining prosciutto, mint and feta.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 294 calories, 16g fat (3g sat), 9mg cholesterol, 380mg sodium, 31g carb, 4g fiber, 9g sugar, 9g protein
Nutritional Analysis: This pasta salad is low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K, and a very good source of Vitamin A. (Source: nutritiondata.com)