Return with me now to 1984 when brunch was Queen and Prosciutto was a newfangled ham sweeping America's Mainland with its popularity. In Minnesota we tasted the Prosciutto tentatively and politely decided, "Say, that is different," and "Oh my, so spicy!" Then we allowed our hostess to wrap the thin slices of salty ham around melon wedges and we partook. Prosciutto gently guided us to a new way of eating and tasting. Soon fresh herbs would arrive on our tables and all heck would be unleashed.
Now come with me to this weekend past, to the farmers market, where we see what heat and drought can do to tomato and basil, and where we load up on the hot peppers that are prospering. The apples are early. The melon is in.
Wait! What?! The melons are here?
I bought one small Honeydew, patiently waiting as the farmer explained to me that it was the green melon, not the orange. (Do Minnesotans really not know the difference between Cantaloupe and Honeydew? Is this further evidence that we are raising our children unable to identify tomatoes and potatoes?)
At home I sliced into the soft flesh and smelled the sweet bloom, and immediately wished I'd bought more. But that one perfect melon each summer cannot be forced, and I am glad my greed didn't get the better of me. How can a glutton and a hoarder appreciate simple perfection? Half of the melon went into a refreshing chilled soup. The other half I sliced into wedges and wrapped with thin slices of Prosciutto, then I hummed some Huey Lewis tunes while I ate.
Melon Cucumber Soup1/2 Honeydew melon, cubed
3 small cucumbers
2 small green onions
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 or 2 teaspoons vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Puree ingredients and serve room temp or chilled. Garnish with crisped Prosciutto if desired.