"This is our riff on the old classic prosciutto and melon," says Ward. "Italians all scoff these little nibbles on skewers at the bar for aperitivi with great gusto. We use capocollo for our version - it's the neck of the pig, and is a little less fatty than prosciutto, but still has great depth of flavour. Ask the deli to slice it paper-thin for you. With the finely shaved melon, everything comes together in a sweet, salty and refreshing way that's bound to kick off your late-summer lunch like no other. Make sure you order more capocollo than you need for the recipe, too. It's just as good alone as it is with ricotta and melon."
- 100 ml vin santo
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ each small rockmelon and honeydew melon
- 500 gm capocollo, thinly sliced (see note)
- 100 gm fresh firm ricotta, lightly whipped
- 1 cup (firmly packed) mint, torn
- 1To make dressing, simmer vin santo in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced by a third and has the consistency of a thick syrup (8-10 minutes). Set aside to cool (10-15 minutes), then place in a jar with the olive oil and shake to combine well.
- 2Thinly slice honeydew and rockmelon on a mandolin, then arrange in curls on a platter with capocollo. Top with spoonfuls of ricotta, then scatter with mint leaves and drizzle with vin santo dressing.
Note Capocollo, or coppa di Parma, is available from select Italian grocers and delicatessens. If it's unavailable substitute prosciutto di Parma.
Drink Suggestion: Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio. 2012, Friuli. Drink suggestion by Nigel Ward