Note: This recipe is part of Kerry Saretsky's series The Secret Ingredient. This month's featured ingredient is rose water. Kerry also gives recipes that use rose water for Blackberries and Raspberries with Rose Sabayon and Rosey Rosé.
This is an unusual dish that takes its cue from the traditional Italian cantaloupe and prosciutto. Bite-size balls of madras watermelon and cantaloupe are matched by tiny round bocconcini mozzarella. These three are tossed with a bright, heady rosewater vinaigrette, punctuated with chopped baby arugula, and topped with optional crispy slabs of prosciutto. Ham and melon will never be the same!
- 4 thin slices prosciutto
- 1/8 watermelon
- 1/2 cantaloupe
- 1 3/4 ounces bocconcini mozzarella
- 1/3 cup arugula, lightly chopped
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried roses (optional)
- 1 bottle rosé wine, lightly chilled
- About 6 splashes of rosewater
Begin by crisping the prosciutto. While the oven preheats to 350 degrees F, lay the prosciutto, keeping it as whole as possible, on a baking sheet. Bake for about 16 minutes, until the ham is thoroughly crisp. It may take less or more time, depending on your oven and on the thinness of the meat, so check it every now and again. Once done, set aside to cool.
Then prepare the melons. Use a melon baller to carve out balls of melon the same size as the bite-size bocconcini balls.
Toss the balls of watermelon and cantaloupe, along with the balls of mozzarella, in a large bowl with the arugula.
Make the dressing by simply combining the olive oil, champagne vinegar, rosewater, salt, and pepper in a jar. Screw on the lid, and give the dressing a good shake. Dress the salad lightly; you may not use all the dressing. Toss everything together.
This simple but unique cocktail pairs good rosé wine with a splash of rosewater. The pair obviously plays on pink, but the rosewater also accents the often fruity-floral notes of a good rosé. As an optional crown, I whirl sugar and dried rose petals together for the prettiest in pink wineglass rim.
Make the optional rose-sugar rim by combining the sugar and dried rose petals in a small food processor, and whirling it around until the bits of rose are the same size as the sugar grains. Place on a saucer.
Dip your clean finger in water, and run it around the rim of 6 wine glasses. Dip the wet rim into the rose sugar, so that the sugar sticks to the rim.
Divide the wine between the glasses, pouring to avoid disturbing the rose-sugar rims. Pour a splash of rosewater into each glass thereafter.