June 22, 2009

Grilled Asparagus and Melon Salad

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Although we've been battling the elements up here in the northeast, we did get in a few outdoor activities. I am lucky enough to volunteer for an amazing organization, Girls on the Run, in which we help young girls train to run a 5k at the end of their school semester. Their big race was this weekend, and I am thanking the heavens that the rain held off just long enough for all of them to finish. It's so inspiring to see 3rd and 4th graders run a whole 3.1 miles. Great job girls! I never would have been able to do that at their age! We also played a little golf, but mainly stayed glued to the tv watching the US Open (Brad is actually there today to see the finals - lucky guy!). 

Now onto the goods. This is a delicious and refreshing salad that would be perfect for a barbecue or any summer time outing. This sucker has everything - savory, salty, crunchy, and sweet. It's colorful and is really beautiful when all put together. It's rather hearty, but the dressing and sweet melon keep it feeling light, making it a great dish to serve when the weather warms up (if that will ever happen!). I never would have thought of combining all of these ingredients together, but they work surprisingly well and really balance each other out. If nothing else, the idea of baking the prosciutto into little crisps is genius!

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis 

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 small melon, cubed
4 ounces mozzarella, cubed
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment, and place strips of prosciutto on top. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until crisp.
  • Place prosciutto on paper towel, then roughly crumble.
  • Toss together asparagus and 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium bowl, and season with S&P.
  • Heat grill pan over medium-high, and cook asparagus for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until tender but still crisp.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil. 
  • Season to taste with S&P, add melon and cheese and toss until combined.
  • Arrange asparagus on platter, then, using a slotted spoon, top with melon and cheese.
  • Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over top, and sprinkle with prosciutto and pine nuts.


Anonymous said...

I really love the combination of flavors and textures in this salad! The sweet melon sounds so good with asparagus and prosciutto!

sugarlens said...

That looks incredibly refreshing.

Glad to hear that the weather was good when it mattered!

Sara said...

This sounds like such an interesting flavor combination, very unexpected, but I can see how it would be delicious.

Maria said...

How fun! I would love to run with kiddos! Good for you! The salad looks excellent! I love juicy melons in the summertime!

finsmom said...

Some really delicous flavors here :)

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Kudos to you for working with kids-- it's so reward. (I work at a high school, as you know). You get to be a positive role model. As for this salad-- oh yeah! I could make this tonight-- and I just might have to make this soon. Lovely job.

Aimée said...

I love all of these ingredients! Quebec asparagus is in full swing here so thanks for the idea!

Elra said...

Such a superb and healthy meal for summer. The melon sounds refreshing!

Maris said...

This sound really nice and refreshing. i want to try this, especially the prosciutto/melon combo. I love when things are sweet/salty.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a complex and intricate and delicate dish! I love all the flavors and textures in it. Amazing!

Chef Fresco said...

I was thinking about doing girls on the run this summer! How much fun :) I love the fresh mozzarella in this salad!

Anonymous said...

You have two of my favorite things in this dish--crispy prosciutto and grilled asparagus! I usually fry my prosciutto but baking it is a great idea. YUM!!

Donna-FFW said...

What a fabulous combination of flavors. Melon and asparagus absolutely delicious!

Culinary Wannabe said...

Hi 5 Star Foodie - All the varying components really made it special.

Hi Sugarlens - Yes, so glad for the sun Sat morning!

Hi Sara - I was nervous at first that it wouldn't all work, but it really did!

Hi Maria - The program is so fun. I'm sure I get more out of it than the girls!

Hi finsmom - Thanks!

Hi Debby - I only work with the for a few hours each week (which is about my breaking point, lol), you are all day long. My hat's off to you!

Hi Aimée - Grilled asparagus is one of my favorite veggies. Too bad it has that icky side effect. :)

Hi Elra - The melon definitely makes it light enough for the warm weather.

Hi Maris - Me too. The combo of flavors is really good.

Hi burpandslurp - Thanks so much!

Hi Chef Fresco - That's great! We don't do it here in nyc in the summer, just during the school year. It's very fun though, I would definitely recommend it.

Hi John - I had never baked it before, but loved the results.

Hi Donna - Thanks girl!

Melissa said...

I bet those two go well together. Looks delicious! :)

Pumpkin said...

Yum! This looks so summery and refreshing. I like the combination of textures and flavors.

Kerstin said...

What a pretty salad, I love all the layers of flavor!

Sounds like a very fun volunteering position! I love working with kids too.

Grace said...

this combines some unexpected things (at least to me)--i've certainly never had asparagus paired with melon AND cheese, but i'm game, especially with that lovely pine nut crunch! thanks for sharing this unique creation!

CookiePie said...

Oooh - what an interesting combo, and perfect for the season!

Juliana said...

Wow, this is very interesting...melon in salad...and the combination of flavors must be great, prosciutto, asparagus and mozzarella, yummie!

Culinary Wannabe said...

Hi Melissa - Thanks!

Hi Pumpkin - Very light (and kinda healthy), so yes, great for summer!

Hi Kerstin - The girls are so great, although I usually need a stiff drink after a few hours with them! Kudos to teachers who do it all day long!

Hi Grace - Agreed, it is a strange combo. But somehow it all magically works!

Hi Cookiepie - Thanks!

Hi Juliana - Yummy indeed! :)

Junglefrog said...

I love the combination of the various ingredients in flavours in this dish. Looks absolutely delicious!
I used to run half marathons when I was younger (by about 20 years...lol) but I can still miss it sometimes!

Helene said...

You always have beautiful meals.

noble pig said...

This is a fab idea. I think melon and asparagus go really well together, it's just agreat combo of flavors. It looks beautiful too.

Stacey Snacks said...

I like this combo of ingredients, I may do it for a Sunday party.
Thanks for the idea.

Katrina said...

That looks and sounds really yummy!

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