Melons kick up the flavor profile of cured meat in this recipe. —INGRAIN, Summer 2018
Italians can rock some fat. Pancetta (pork belly), speck (smoked trotters), nutmeg-spiced spalla (shoulder), and the king of pork fat, lardo (cured fatback with rosemary and spices)—we love them all. Grab the best cured meat you can find, a variety of melons, and a round of farmhouse ales, Saisons, and hop-forward IPAs. With this classic starter, it all works.
Pairing Try a dry, citrusy witbier or Saison like Sofie (Goose Island), a Belgian-style farmhouse ale aged in wine barrels with fresh orange peel. A Belgian-style witbier like Hoegaarden or Allagash White also works well with fattier cured meats.
Makes 8 starters
4 ounces (roughly) lardo, speck, or other cured pork
2 melons (Arava, cantaloupe, Charentais)
Or shave the cured pork. Trim and slice the melons into wedges.
The melon on a serving platter and tuck the cured pork in between or on top of melon slices. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and drizzle with good-quality olive oil. Scatter fresh basil leaves on top.