Prosciutto Salad with Melon and Arugula Citrus Vinaigrette- Classic Italian flavors in this delicious summer salad with salty, sweet, and tangy flavors. This prosciutto (Italian cured ham), melon, and arugula salad is a match made in Italian flavor heaven. Perfect for summer al fresco dining.
This elegant Prosciutto Salad with Melon and Arugula Citrus Vinaigrette makes a delicious side salad or appetizer to wow a crowd! It comes together with a few ingredients and little time. Serve it with No Knead Italian Focaccia Bread and Nonna's Famous Traditional Italian Meatballs (Polpette) for a complete meal.
Why I love this recipe
Prosciutto and melon are a classic Italian antipasto that is served in restaurants across Italy and now America. You will love the simple yet complex flavors of this salad. It is also super easy to make and one of my favorite salads for the summer time.
The addition of arugula turns it into a delicious salad recipe. Wait until you try the citrus honey vinaigrette! I love to dip my Fast Italian No Knead Ciabatta Bread in this delicious dressing- it is that good!
Oh my! All these flavors create an addicting combination that scream SUMMER TIME. I hope you gather with loved ones and bring this to the center of your table.
Citrus and Honey Vinaigrette (dressing ingredients)
- Good quality olive oil
- Fresh squeezed orange juice + zest of one orange
- Salt (more to taste)
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Cloves of garlic cut in quarters
- Fresh arugula salad (pre washed)
- Prosciutto ham, excess fat trimmed
- Cantaloupe, cut into wedges and peel removed
- Fresh basil leaves
Simple Prosciutto Salad with Melon and Arugula
My favorite part about Italian cooking is the SIMPLICITY! Every recipe highlights the true taste of the main ingredient and adds a few flavors to complement in the best possible way.
This prosciutto salad recipe is a perfect representation of simple and fresh Italian style ingredients coming together to create a beautiful and flavorful dish. Once you try it once, you will sure make it on repeat.
What is Prosciutto?
Prosciutto di parma is a cured ham that is made from high quality pork legs. The meat is salted and cured for a few weeks and is then washed and air dried for 1-3 years, which makes it incredibly flavorful. The result is a salty prosciutto that is also tender and slightly sweet.
It’s a sweet and salty staple in Italian dishes as it adds complex flavors to simple ingredients and you can find it at just about any grocery store. It’s best at room temperature so take it out a bit early for the most flavor.
In Italy we buy this freshly sliced from the meat counter at the local market. If you know your meat guy- he will usually give you a slice and it makes my mouth water thinking of how melt in your mouth delicious it is! My favorite varieties are prosciutto di Parma, or St. Daniele.
This salad is really more about the toppings than the lettuce, so you can choose whatever, but I love arugula. The peppery arugula and fresh flavor of arugula pair well with the prosciutto and melon. You can also use spinach, or your favorite salad greens.
If you love arugula you will also love: Orecchiette with Sausage Peppers and Arugula, Warm White Bean Salad Arugula Mozzarella, Easy Italian Style Pasta Salad with Arugula, Arugula, Apple, and Pistachio Salad in Parmigiano Cups, and Fresh Arugula Walnut Pesto (vegan recipe).
This is a dressing recipe I use on so many salad recipes. I make it and then store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
I let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes before I use it if the olive oil solidifies. It is fresh tasting, slightly sweet, citrusy, and meets all the taste bud requirements for a multipurpose dressing.
It's a super bonus with the flavors of the prosciutto, melon, and arugula, but don't stop there! You can use it on so much more! Here is another great salad with this dressing: Berry and Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Citrus Dressing
Who doesn’t love a salty bite of prosciutto with some nutritious salad greens? It’s a delicious addition to salads and this prosciutto, melon and arugula salad is a must try!
If you want to turn this prosciutto salad into more of a meal you can try these variations.
- Hard boiled eggs (sliced or chopped)
- Crispy prosciutto- try baking the prosciutto by laying it flat on a baking sheet and cooking for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees F until nice and crisp.
- Sliced red onion
- Extra protein like grilled chicken, roasted salmon, garbanzo beans, or a scoop of cooked quinoa or farro.
- Fresh avocado
- Fresh fruit or berries (we added blueberries in the photo below, but it’s also great with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, sweet pears, and peaches)
- Nuts! We love adding walnuts, pistachios, pecans, or sliced almonds
- Extra veggies (we love bell peppers, grape tomatoes, sweet cherry tomatoes)
- Your favorite cheese! Feta, creamy goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese (parmigiano), and blue cheese are all good here.
Try this balsamic vinegar dressing as an alternative.
Can I make Prosciutto Salad with Melon and Arugula ahead of time?
YES!! PREP AHEAD TIPS: prepare the melon, fresh basil, and prosciutto as instructed and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Store in the fridge until ready to use. Prepare the salad with the dressing just before serving and top with the prepared melon slices. Serve immediately.
What to serve with Prosciutto Salad with Melon and Arugula
Serve this delicious salad with EASY Garlic Honey Lemon Grilled Chicken, or Best Baked Salmon with Pesto Recipe (Easy) and Baked Zucchini and Tomato Bruschetta with a side of Easy Soft Italian No Knead Bread.
Don't forget dessert! Try: Classic Italian Tiramisu Recipe (Authentic), Creamy Frozen Lemon Bars with Graham Cracker Crust, or Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl).
From my Cucina to Your Table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)
Made with Amore, Elena
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Citrus and Honey Vinaigrette
- ½ cup good quality olive oil
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice + zest of one orange
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1 tsp salt (more to taste)
- ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic cut in quarters
- 8 oz fresh arugula salad (pre washed)
- 8 slices of prosciutto ham, excess fat trimmed
- 8 slices (about half a medium melon) of cantaloupe, cut into wedges and peel removed
- 8 basil leaves
- Citrus and Honey Vinaigrette DRESSING
- Place all ingredients in a Mason jar and shake vigorously. The dressing can stay at room temperature for up to one week and the fridge up to two weeks.
Assembling the Salad
- Gently toss rucola with half of the dressing. Lay the salad on a large flat serving platter. Set aside.
- Start assembling the melon and prosciutto by placing a basil leaf in the middle of the melon and wrapping the prosciutto around the melon slice. Leave the ends of the melon uncovered. Repeat with all the melon, basil and prosciutto slices.
- Place the prepared melon slices on top of the platted arugula salad. Drizzle 2 Tbs of extra salad dressing on top of the melon slices. Serve immediately!
PREP AHEAD: prepare the melon, basil, and prosciutto as instructed and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Prepare the salad with the dressing just before serving and top with the prepared melon slices. Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: N/A
- Category: Savory
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: prosciutto, melon, citrus vinaigrette, arugula, side dish, salad, melon, basil, easy recipe, Italian recipe