Melon, Nectarines, Speck and Citrus Vinaigrette


Published Sept. 16, 2018

As summer slowly slips away into fall, the last thing I want to do is hole up in my kitchen and tuck into a complicated recipe. Instead, I take advantage of the seasonal abundance that late summer brings. I relish in the hard work of my favourite farmers at the market by making simple, classically inspired dishes that let the fresh plentitude of the season do the talking and that speak from the heart of where the food came from.

That is why I want to dedicate this recipe to Forbes Farm, an independent family-run organic farm in Oliver, B.C. that I discovered recently at the Penticton Farmers' Market this summer while cooking in nearby Naramata. Forbes Farm’s melons are some of the best I have ever tasted.

A perfectly ripe cantaloupe is a thing of beauty. Musky and juicy, it falls heavily and easily from the vine as it is being picked. At the farmers' market, choose melons that are noticeably sweet and fragrant and feel heavy for their size. The Charentais varietal is my personal favourite. Developed in France around 1920, it is generally more fragrant than the common cantaloupe I ate while growing up in North America.

Although I have often seen melon paired with prosciutto, I prefer to use speck, a smoked and aged ham that is cured with spices that lend it a deeper, more intense flavour than its Italian counterpart.

Link to recipe here.

Link to Forbes Farm here.