I’ve found a wonderful light appetizer to bring just about anywhere! I’m sure most of you know the joys of the combination of prosciutto with melon. Well, this simple skewer takes that and goes a step – no, two steps – further. With the addition of fresh mozzarella and a basil-lime sauce, this appetizer will get you in the mood to talk and eat and have a wonderful gathering!
It is so simple, yet so elegant. These little skewers make a beautiful presentation and will be the talk of the pre-dinner conversation. Bring along a nice baguette to slice and serve with balsamic vinegar and olive oil in addition to these skewers. (Unless you have an unlimited budget for proscuitto, this could get pricy if everyone ate their fill.) Alternately, you could use long tooth-picks and only put one piece of each element on it, and stretch the dish further.
As with any dish that has a very short list of ingredients, you’ll want to get the best quality that you can afford. Buy your proscuitto from a deli counter where they slice it for you. Ask for a sample first, and if you don’t like it, try another or go elsewhere. Buy good mozzarella balls packaged in water; don’t buy something vacuum sealed sitting next to the string cheese and Kraft singles. Use fresh basil, and good quality olive oil too, and find a melon that is perfect alone before you combine it with other flavors. You’ll be so much happier with the result if you begin with good stuff! And believe me, you’ll be happy with the result!!
Melon, Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella Skewers with Basil-Lime Sauce
adapted from epicurious
serves 5 (with two each), multiplies easily
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (packed), plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 medium shallot, quartered
- lime juice from half a lime (about 1 tbsp) or to taste
- drop or two of honey
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 small melon, cut into 3/4″ cubes (I used a local sunburst melon, but cantaloupe would be quite nice as well)
- 10 small fresh water-packed mozzarella balls
- 10 slices proscuitto, cut in half and gathered into a ruffle (sort of accordion folded)
- 10 wooden skewers for assembling
Make the sauce ahead of time. In a small food processor or blender, process the basil and shallot until finely chopped. Add the lime juice, honey, some salt and pepper and pulse to combine. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil and process until a fine puree is formed. Taste, and adjust for seasoning. Set aside until ready to serve. Or, if you are taking your appetizer somewhere else, pour the sauce into a small jar and stash in the fridge.
Assemble on skewers. Onto each skewer add 1 piece of melon, followed by a piece of ruffled proscuitto, a mozzarella ball, another piece of proscuitto, and finally another melon piece. (Could this recipe be any easier?!) If you are making these ahead of time or taking them to a dinner party, put the skewers into a container as they are finished. Seal, and keep them in the refrigerator until about 15 minutes before you want to serve them.
Once everything is assembled, arrange the skewers on a platter. Add a few coarse grinds of fresh black pepper, and drizzle with the basil-lime sauce. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs.