Melon and Prosciutto with Goat Cheese and Mint

Sometimes simple is best, and when it comes to good cheese, that is almost always the rule. In this combination, the sweet melon and the fresh mint really highlight the earthy, salty flavors of the cheese.

This dish is a wonderful way to start a meal because the flavors are clean and the melon is refreshing. But for these same reasons, it is also a nice dish with which to end a meal. Another alternative is to have it as a light meal by itself adding a few other cheeses and an assortment of melons. You can arrange the ingredients any way you like.

Melon and ProsciuttoYield: 4 servings

1 large cantaloupe (about 3 pounds), or other ripe melon
8 paper-thin slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces)
1 piece (8 ounces) hard cheese, preferably goat, such as Capriole's Mont St. Francis, divided into 8 equal chunks (or use an aged Provolone or dry Jack)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Whole mint leaves, for garnish

Cut the melon in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut each half into 8 slices, and then cut each slice from the rind. Divide the melon among four plates.

Drape 2 slices of prosciutto over the melon, leaving some melon exposed. Place 2 chunks of cheese in the middle of each plate. Sprinkle with chopped mint, and garnish with whole mint leaves. Serve immediately.

Note: You can have all of the ingredients ready in advance. Bring them to room temperature before assembling.

New American CheeseSource: The New American Cheese by Laura Werlin
Profiles of America's Greatest Cheese makers and Recipes for Cooking with Cheese.
Buy The New American Cheese book in the US - DE - UK

More recipes from "The New American Cheese:
- Goat Cheese, Apricot, and Sage-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Chili-Pecan Biscotti with Dry Jack Cheese
- Quarky Chocolate Cake
- Herbed Sugar Snap Peas with Goat Cheese
- Teleme, Squash, and Onion Galette
- "New" Old-Fashioned Grilled Cheese Sandwich
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