This is my go-to for easy summer entertaining. It’s refreshing, healthy, creative and absolutely delicious — without being too much work. Plus it’s guaranteed to work with whatever melons look best at the market that day. Just add a few good friends and a nice glass of sparkling rosé!
1 c sugar
1 c water
~1/8 teaspoon hot chile powder such as ancho or cayenne
9 cups melon chunks or melon balls (cantaloupe, watermelon, papaya, honeydew or any combination you like)
6 slices (4oz) thinly sliced prosciutto
1T brown sugar
1t ancho chili powder
dash of salt
2T chopped cilantro, or to taste
20 bamboo skewers
Make the chile syrup by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is barely at a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the chile powder. Set aside to cool completely.
Place the melon chunks in a heavy zip-top plastic bag, add the cooled chile syrup, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
While the melon is chilling, cook the prosciutto. Preheat the oven to 400 and arrange the slices in a single later on a baking sheet with sides. Cook for 5-7 minutes until crisp. Cool completely, then crumble or chop coarsely. Set aside.
Prepare the topping by combining the brown sugar and spices. Set aside.
To serve, strain the melon chunks, reserving the liquid. Thread the melon onto the skewers and arrange on a serving tray. Sprinkle with the spice mixture, prosciutto and chopped cilantro. Drizzle with a small amount of the reserved syrup. Serve remaining syrup on the side for those who prefer more.