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Parma ham with minted melon wedges

This instant, mouth-watering starter is wonderfully refreshing, especially on a warm summer evening. For optimum flavour, always use a fragrant, ripe melon. Pretty orange-fleshed Charentais is the perfect choice, but you can use a pale green Galia melon if you like.

ingredients

serves 4
1 large, ripe Charentais melon
1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
8 thin slices lean Parma ham
freshly ground black pepper
mint sprigs to garnish

method

1. Halve the melon, then scoop out and discard the seeds, using a spoon. With a sharp knife, cut each half into 6 wedges. Cut away the skin from the melon; do this over a bowl to save any juices.

2. Carefully transfer the melon wedges and any juice to a large, shallow dish and sprinkle over the chopped mint and lemon juice. Chill until ready to serve.

3. To serve, arrange 3 wedges of melon on each serving plate and drizzle over the juices. Drape 2 Parma ham slices over each portion and season with pepper. Garnish with mint sprigs to serve. Cook's note You can vary this starter by grilling the Parma ham until crispy and serving it with cubes or balls of melon, rather than wedges

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