Compressed Melon and Prosciutto Salad
Recipe courtesy of Wesley Tyler, CEC, CCA, WCMC, Executive Chef, The Club at Carlton Woods (Texas)
- prosciutto - 2 oz., 1-inch strips, sliced
- compressed cantaloupe, - 1 ea., 1/4-inch disc
- compressed honeydew - 1 ea., 1/4-inch disc
- baby rocket greens - 1/4 oz.
- extra virgin olive oil - 1 Tbsp.
- pistachio crumb - 1/4 oz.
- candied serrano peppers - 1/4 oz., sliced
- lemon, fresh - 1/2 ea.
- mustard blossoms - garnish
- balsamic caviar - garnish
- Ingredients for Compressed Melon
- whole melon, fresh - 1 ea.
- sugar, granulated - 1 cup
- water - 1 cup
- fresh mint, chopped - 2 Tbsp.
- Ingredients for Pistachio Crumb
- pistachios - 1 cup, raw, shelled
- Ingredients for Candied Serrano Peppers
- serrano peppers, sliced - 1 cup
- sugar, granulated - 2 cups
- water - 2 cups
- Ingredients for Balsamic Caviar
- balsamic vinegar - 3/4 cup (180 ml), add additional 1/4 cup for storage
- agar-agar - 2 grams
- vegetable oil - 2 cups
Procedure for Compressed Melon
- Using a peeler or chef knife, remove melon rind and split in half. Remove seeds.
- Once cleaned, on a flat surface, slice each melon lengthwise, 1/4-inch thick and set aside. (Reserve center slices that expose cavity for alternate use, as they will not provide enough surface area for discs.)
- Separately, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar and mint. Bring to boil.
- Reduce liquid by half and remove from heat. Let cool.
- Using two 8x12-inch vacuum-seal bags, place the melon slices individually in each bag. (Keep flat to avoid overlapping or stacking of fruit.)
- Add half of mint simple syrup to each bag, and vacuum in chamber. Let sit overnight.
Procedure for Pistachio Crumb
- Using a 1/4-sized aluminum sheet pan, arrange pistachios evenly and bake at 350 degrees in oven for 5-7 minutes (or until lightly toasted and golden brown).
- Once toasted, remove and let cool.
- Using a food processor, pulse toasted pistachios several times until course crumb texture is achieved.
Procedure for Candied Serrano Peppers
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Bring to boil.
- Once liquid is at a boil, add serrano peppers.
- Allow liquid to return to boil and remove from heat immediately. Let cool.
Procedure for Balsamic Caviar
- In a tall glass or deli container, add the vegetable oil and place in freezer for 20 minutes.
- Separately, in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 180 ml balsamic vinegar, and swiftly whisk in the agar until well combined.
- Bring mixture to boil, remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
- Once balsamic mixture is just above room temperature, transfer to small pipette or dropper with fine tip.
- Remove chilled vegetable oil from freezer. Slowly drip the balsamic mixture into oil, allowing small pearls to form and sink to bottom. Repeat steps until all balsamic has been used.
- Using a small strainer or sieve, strain the balsamic pearls out of vegetable liquid. Wash gently in cold water. Store pearls in balsamic vinegar until ready for use.
- Remove compressed melon from vacuum-seal bag, and discard liquid.
- Using a ring mold, cut out 3-inch discs of compressed melon.
- Separately, in a small stainless steel mixing bowl, combine sliced prosciutto, mustard blossoms, rocket greens, 1/2 lemon squeezed, EVOO and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently.
- For plating, stack 2 compressed melon discs in center of plate. Arrange rocket greens around outside perimeter of melon. Garnish with pistachio crumb, candied serranos and balsamic caviar pearls on top of compressed melon stack. Serve immediately.