I know what you are thinking….what in the heck is the Hunting Chef doing writing about melon balls? That is like Batman playing badminton in the wind with Pee Wee Herman. I get it, it does sound a little odd. Please bear with me and let me tell you why. My oldest daughter and I like to go to San Francisco and eat at this Italian joint called North Beach Restaurant, we have been doing this for 10 years. They make this anti pasti dish with house cured Prosciutto , mozzarella, and sweet melon that rocks your palate. When I saw this recipe in Fine Cooking, I was thinking….Well maybe Batman can play badminton. This could be good on salads, with seafood, etc. If you ever do make it to North Beach, make sure to ask to see where they cure and hang the prosciutto, it is pretty amazing.
You will need a melon baller to make the melon balls. Make sure to get into the melon deep so you can rotate the baller thru meat of the melon to get a full ball.
Once I get a full use of one melon, I make a 1″ cut basically cutting the slab off to start again.
Get a sauce pan and bring filtered water to boil then add sugar, vinegar, salt, and crushed red pepper to boil. Then turn off heat and let cool. Take the mason jars, make sure they are clean and add your melon balls, and then put some mint leaves into the same jar, push them down the side.
Then pour your liquid over the melon balls and mint and leave 1/4 inch of spacing. Put the tops on them and let sit in the fridge for a minimum of 4 days.
I did not have house cured prosciutto, but I did buy some at the store and served them with mozzarella.
Phil took this photo as we tested the product. The sweet taste of melon, followed by sour, and finished with some heat. These little babies are going to come into tie together some excellent dishes later, but I was impressed with them as an appetizer as well. I would definitely put these on my Christmas day appetizer platter coming up.
Give it a try.
The Hunting Chef