Prosciutto and Melon with Balsamic Shallots

This prosciutto and melon salad is the perfect simple summer appetizer or side dish! Sweet cantaloupe topped with prosciutto, balsamic soaked shallots, toasted pine nuts, lemon, parmesan, and basil. It’s my version of the classic sweet & savory Italian dish…and it is simply the perfect combination of flavors.

Prosciutto and Melon

prosciutto and melon with balsamic shallots – the details

This simple dish comes together really quickly in just three steps – soak the shallots, toast the pine nuts, arrange the salad. Easy as that!

You’ll want to start the shallots first so they can sit in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil for at least 15 minutes…just enough time to soften and take on all of the rich flavor. The pine nuts toast up in a skillet and then get a touch of lemon zest at the end to brighten them up.

Prosciutto and Melon

Prosciutto and Melon

From there, it’s all about the assembly. Start with the cantaloupe (honeydew melon would be great, too), then arrange the prosciutto in all of the empty spaces on the platter. A few final touches give this dish a final pop of flavor – salty parmesan cheese, fresh basil, those tangy shallots, and the zesty pine nuts. SO delicious when combined all together.

You can serve this prosciutto and melon salad as an appetizer to start a meal, or I’d say it works just as well as a light side dish to add something a little sweet to the table!

If you’re looking for more summer appetizer recipes, here are a few to try:

Marinated Tomato Toast with Creme Fraiche & Herbs
Charred Eggplant Dip with Toasted Sesame Chili Oil
Zucchini Fritters with Lemon Yogurt Sauce


Prosciutto and Melon with Balsamic Shallots

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a simple prosciutto and melon salad with balsamic shallots, toasted pine nuts, lemon, parmesan, and basil

servings: 6


  • 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 medium cantaloupe (approximately 3 lbs), peeled + halved + seeded + thinly sliced
  • 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, torn


  1. Combine the shallots, balsamic vinegar, and ¼ cup of olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper. Let the shallots sit, submerged, for about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the pine nuts. Turn the heat to low and toast for just about 30 seconds (watch so they don’t burn), or until golden. Turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
  3. Arrange the cantaloupe onto a platter. Top with the prosciutto and pine nuts. Stir the lemon juice into the shallot mixture. Spoon the shallots, plus all of the vinegar, lemon, and oil, over the dish. Garnish with the parmesan and basil.

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Prosciutto and Melon

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