Melon and Ham with Limey Smoked Paprika

Melon and Ham with Limey Smoked Paprika

Melon and Ham with Limey Smoked Paprika

Ok, so it's an old dish. Why reinvent the wheel when you can tweak an already great one to taste even better? This is a classic with a twist that makes my mouth water even thinking about it.


Melon is in season right now and the lettuce from the garden plentiful.

As it's summer, it's hot, thankfully, so lighter refreshing dishes are the order of the day.


For this dish I used Cantaloupe melon and the sweeter it is the better it works with the dressing and the dressing is the key part of the dish.

It's all in the dressing!


The dish is super easy but it took me a couple of trys to get the dressing the way I wanted it to taste and part of that is personal preference. I suggest starting with a light amount of salt then adding more to your taste.


For variations, you can add in some rocket/arrugula for extra bite or some honey to the dressing if salty isn't your thing. If you want to make it interesting try grilling one of the ham slices then cooling it before trying the two slices side by side. Or, if you're feeling like taking a walk on the wild side, add a splash of Tequila to the dressing. If not, just drink it!

Melon and Ham with Limey Smoked Paprika
Melon and Bayonne Ham with Limey Smoked Paprika

For 4 people

1 Cantaloupe Melon, peeled, deseeded and sliced thinly (½ cm thick)

8 slices of Bayonne Ham thinly sliced (you can substitute for Parma, Serrano or other dried ham)

8 lettuce leaves - washed and shredded

½ small Red onion - thinly sliced

Black olives



2 limes juiced

2 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp salt

Virgin olive oil

Pinch of fresh ground pepper


The Mix: 

Divide the lettuce into 4 and place a mound of lettuce in the centre of each plate

Over the top of the lettuce lay 2 slices of ham criss-crossed

Arrange the melon around the edge of the plate with the ham in the middle

Sprinkle a few red onions on the top of the ham

Dot a few olives around the outside of the plate



Place lime, paprika, ½ of the salt and a pinch of pepper in a bowl and mix together with a whisk or electric mixer.

While whisking gradually add some olive oil in a thin stream. You'll need about ½ cup to start.

When combined, taste then adjust to your preference by adding more salt or oil

You're using limes which naturally go well with salt (if you've ever drunk Tequila!) so my preference is to add more salt and maybe a touch more olive oil. I prefer to taste the saltiness as I think it contrasts well with the sweetness of the melon

When you have the taste you like, whisk the dressing until it thickens and put it in the fridge for about 30 - 45 mins. This should be enough time to let the paprika flavours evolve.

When you are ready to eat, whisk the dressing one last time and drizzle around the outside of the plate over the melon.


Drink This: 

Champagne Darling!

Champagne Darling!

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