Summer Fruit Salad with Prosciutto
There's a certain magic that happens when you balance the sweetness of the fruit against the slightly salty prosciutto. This is the time of year I get excited! When I see melons, grapes and figs, I run directly to my favorite deli and get some delicious paper-thin slices of Italian prosciutto.
2 bunches frisee
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons fennel oil (see below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 melon, honeydew, Crenshaw, Casaba, cantelope, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 cups small green and red grapes, if larger, cut them in half
6 figs, halved
6 slices Prosciutto di Parma or Prosciutto di San Danielle
For the Salad: Place the frisee and fennel in a bowl. Add the fennel oil, salt and pepper and toss together.
For each individual serving plate, place a few slices of the melon on the bottom of each plate. Distribute the grapes on the plates. Top the melon and grapes with the frisee and fennel. Top with the figs. Place a slice of the prosciutto onto the top. Serve.
5 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Fennel Oil: Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and shake the pan constantly for 15 to 30 seconds. Do not allow them to turn brown. Grind the fennel seeds in a coffee or spice grinder or a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground.
Place the olive oil and fennel seeds in a jar and shake. Let sit for 2 hours. Strain before using.
Makes 1 cup fennel oil