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Nothing beats the simplicity of some retro dishes: Parma ham with sweet musk melon is such a dish. It has not dated. It is never boring. But it’s not always possible as the musk melon season is not long, so eat it on as many hot summer days as you can manage…!

Classic Parma Ham with Melon


  • 1 medium musk melon (the orange-fleshed variety)
  • 12 slices of Parma Ham
  • a handful of rocket
  • freshly-milled black pepper
  • fruity olive oil

Chef's hint: Any other variety of melon will do, but not as well. You need that heady musky perfume of the yellow melon ….


Bring the melon to room temperature then halve it, scoop out the pips and slice each half in 4 6 slim wedges. Peel the wedges.

Arrange a handful of rocket leaves on a plate and top with the melon wedges. Drape the Parma ham slices over and in between the melon.

Serve. Swoon. But do first pass around the pepper mill and olive oil.

Serves 6 as a generous starter, 12 as an appetiser.