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Melon & Serrano Ham Salad in Balsamic Reduction

This salad is like a fabulous Broadway play in which all the starring roles go to the sweet melons. The serrano ham, feta, toasted pine nuts, and arugula are the character actors — supporting all that juicy, sweet fruit with their fatty, peppery, nutty, and salty genius. And the balsamic? A delightfully tangy cameo in the second act that briefly steals the show. It’ll be the smash hit of the summer.

This is the kind of simple salad that comes together in minutes but tastes like a lush, big-budget production. It’s perfect for a sunny evening on the patio with the family. We like to serve it with a hearty protein, like grilled steak, lamb chops, or salmon.

Servings: 6


¼ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup watermelon, sliced

½ cup honeydew, sliced

½ cup cantaloupe, sliced

1 ½ oz serrano ham

1 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 cup arugula

1 Tbsp olive oil

Flake salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar over medium heat, bring it to a simmer and reduce it by half. Set it aside to cool.

  2. In a salad bowl, combine the watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, serrano ham, pine nuts, feta cheese, and arugula.

  3. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic reduction over the salad.

  4. Season with flake salt and fresh cracked black pepper.