It was 'Cookalong' time again last week and this time the August theme was Summer Salads. 'Try and get inventive, give us something different with them' they said. 'Parma and Melon Salad' I thought.
That's a bit old hat really, isnt it? The terrible cliché that haunted the Irish wedding reception menu for nigh on two decades, along with the inevitable cream of vegetable soup. Well I think it deserves another chance, it just needs a bit of a make-over. So this is what I did…
Parma, Feta & Melon Salad
4 slices of Parma ham
1 galia or honeydew melon
Handful of rocket
Squeeze of lemon to taste
Peel, halve and de-seed the melon, cut the flesh into cubes. Cube the feta to roughly the same size. Give the rocket a quick rinse. Put two slices of ham in a deep bowl, place alternative squares of melon and feta on top… in a sort of chequerboard pattern . Mix the oil & lemon juice and season with black pepper. Scatter a few leaves of the rocket on top and drizzle with the dressing.
There's no need to add any salt to the dressing as the feta and parma are quite salty enough.
Serve very well chilled with some good bread for a more substantial lunch, or without the bread for a pretty starter that's easy to make ahead.
The sweet and juicy melon, the deeply savory Parma ham and the dry, salty feta are three flavours that work really well together.
Now what shall we choose for the main, the beef or the salmon?