Melon is considered a fruit, although it belongs to the same family as cucumber and squashes, both of which are considered vegetables. Melons can be introduced as a nice entrée to a meal, after a meal, to help with digestion, and, of course, it’s a healthy choice for breakfast. Because 90% of its weight is water, it is a refreshing, light fruit rich in vitamins and minerals. Just two slices of melon provide enough vitamin C for the day, with very few calories added to the diet. Because of its high content in vitamin C, it helps to boost the immune system and prevent infections.

In some cultures, Melon with Cured Ham is a popular entree. Cured Ham can be a good Prossuto de Parma, a product of Italy, or the Iberico Ham from Spain. The Cured Ham can become expensive if it is the high quality Iberico variety.

How to prepare it? It is more a question of how to present it, since “ Melon con Jamon” does not require any cooking. Just cut up slices of honeydew melon and alternate them with slices of Ham. If you want a fancier appearance, use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to spoon out the flesh of the melon.

Wrap each round piece with a thin slice of Prossuto or Iberico, and secure with a toothpick. Depending on the occasion, you can use patriotic toothpicks for a 4th of July celebration; or multicolored picks for a pool party. If the “Melon con Jamon” is going to be served outdoors, just remember to keep the dish refrigerated until ready to eat, since melon soon becomes soggy and it tastes better when served cool.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.