Crispy Speck & Melon Salad

July/August 2014

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A brief flash in the pan transforms paper-thin slices of smoky speck—cured, thinly sliced pork like prosciutto—into savory crisps to hold the melon salad in this healthy appetizer recipe. Look for speck in specialty markets or at Italian grocers. If you can’t find it, the sweet saltiness of prosciutto is a fine stand-in.

Crispy Speck & Melon Salad

Makes: 8 servings

Serving Size: 2 crisps & 1 Tbsp. melon salad

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 1 cup chopped cantaloupe or other sweet muskmelon
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 8 very thin slices speck or prosciutto


  1. Combine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons oil. Add melon, shallot and mint and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature while you prepare the speck.
  2. Use kitchen scissors to cut speck (or prosciutto) slices in half crosswise. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of the speck (or prosciutto) and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels and blot off excess grease. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
  3. To serve, arrange the crisped speck (or prosciutto) on individual small plates. Using a slotted spoon, top each piece with a small amount of the melon salad. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare melon salad (Step 1) without mint, cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours; remove from the refrigerator and stir in mint about 1 hour before serving.


Per serving: 79 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 3 g total sugars; 4 g protein; 0 g fiber; 366 mg sodium; 73 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (15% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 0

Exchanges: 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

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