Keeping It Cool and Pretty for Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day always feels like the pinnacle of spring to me. Flowers are in bloom, things are warming up and the weather is usually beautiful. I know, I know – Sunday’s forecast looks pretty glum for Houston this year. But that’s why we especially need a very pretty brunch for the moms this go-round. We also need to make sure said brunch is easy to make, because every mom secretly or not-so-secretly hopes that their children, husband – somebody else! – will be in charge (hint, hint).
Here’s the perfect solution: A Platter of Melon, Prosciutto and Burrata. Using the first of the sweet summer melons as a base, this “recipe” is easy (no cooking required!), impressive (hello prosciutto and burrata) and…it’s really beautiful. It hits all the notes – the melon is sweet, the prosciutto is salty, the burrata is creamy, the dressing is tangy. Plus, it’s just as good with the Orange Honey Vinaigrette as it is without, which means that little hands can arrange a pretty platter to their heart’s content without ever even having to stir anything together.
In our version, I’ve used cantaloupe and honeydew. You could absolutely add watermelon if you’d like, and the super-sweet Tuscan cantaloupe that arrives later in the spring and summer would be fabulous. We’ve sliced our melon in thin strips, but you could cut it up into chunks or use a melon baller for festive spheres. Also, we’ve added both basil and mint, which I think makes the salad extra cool and springy. But you can certainly use basil alone, maybe with a drizzle of olive oil, if you prefer a more traditional take. And if you’re a purist, you can opt for the melon and prosciutto alone together. You can’t go wrong.
That is to say: However you interpret this Melon, Prosciutto and Burrata “recipe,” you’re going to make the mom(s) in your life very happy. Happy Mother’s Day!
½ cantaloupe, seeded, peeled and either sliced, cubed or scooped with a melon baller
½ honeydew, seeded, peeled and either sliced, cubed or scooped with a melon baller
2 balls fresh burrata cheese
8 slices prosciutto (if you get this at the counter, I like to ask for extra-thin slices because they’re not always as thin as they should be)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, torn, plus some whole for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, torn
Orange Honey Vinaigrette
Fresh ground black pepper
On a large platter, arrange the melon slices (or cubes or balls). You can either slice the burrata balls into thirds, or you can sort of gently tear them apart (how I do it) and place them on top of the melon. Top with prosciutto. Sprinkle the whole thing with the basil and mint and drizzle the vinaigrette over the top. Sprinkle a little flaky salt and a couple of turns of fresh ground pepper over it all. Garnish with whole basil leaves.
Orange Honey Vinaigrette
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (serve the rest of the juice to mom)
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ cup good olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk the orange juice, chives, honey and apple cider vinegar together in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper.
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