Continued progress when it comes to checking off my recipe list! Last night I used this recipe (http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/Melon-Carpaccio-Mario-Batali -- also from The Chew, coincidentally...maybe even the same episode, I can't remember). As per usual, I took this as more of a source of inspiration than a set-in-stone recipe. As my dad always says, "A recipe is just a guide."
I love the combo of melon with prosciutto, and that appealed to me more than the salami that Batali calls for did. Then, when I was at grocery store, I was on kind of a tight budget, so I opted for ham (thinking that I could use some when I make quiche later in the week as well) instead of prosciutto. The ham was okay, but next time I'll be sure to splurge on the good stuff -- prosciutto being, after all, the king of meats.
So, I ended up using not quite half the cantaloupe that I picked up at the farmers' market Sunday (I was purposely scaling back on the recipe because I knew I didn't need eight servings, yet at the same time wanted to make a meal -- not just a side -- from this), sliced thin, and three slices of "carver" deli ham. I opted to use both the juice and zest of half a lime, just to further enhance the limey goodness, and topped everything off with a drizzle of olive oil, some cracked black pepper, some parm, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Batali's recipe didn't call for salt -- I think because the salami would have more than enough -- but since I was using a different meat, I added some -- for the better, it turned out.
Also, I omitted the greens the Batali calls for. Why cover up delicious meats and melon with yucky green stuff? (Mostly joking). I just figured that I had enough going on already without adding another element.
The result? A hearty salad that was the perfect size for two (I also had a baked potato to help round out dinner). There was such a cacophony of flavors! Most worked, although I didn't feel like something was slightly off. The melon was delicious (it helped that it was perfectly ripe and fresh from the farmers' market last Sunday). The issue might have simply been ham versus prosciutto versus salami. I might try the recipe again sometime with these other meats.
On an entirely separate topic -- I am on the look out for some locally roasted coffee beans. If anyone has any suggestions, tweet me @Allie3601. Thanks!