Melon jambon or jambon melon, whatever you choose to call it, is the perfect summertime lunch in my book. Best with Bayonne Ham, I think, but also great with the saltier bite of smooth prosciutto set against the juicy, sweet melons of the season.
In fact, this dish is said to have originated in Italy in the 16th-17th centuries, served with prosciutto, and then migrated to France and Spain where it also became very popular.
The melon has to be very ripe and very sweet for the melon jambon bite to be just right so, shop wisely! Knocking on the melon to get that “hollow,” ripe sound is important as is smelling it, believe it or not! If it’s truly ripe, you should be able to smell the melon’s sweetness even before cutting it.
I hesitate to call this a “recipe” – more like a formula for success! But it is truly a classic.
Slice up the melon and the ham – the latter fairly thinly. And then melon jambon doesn’t need much – a glug of good summer olive oil and a scatter or marigolds or a light sprinkle of fleur de sel on top and you’re ready to go.