I’ve been taking raw vegan culinary classes online through Matthew Kenney Culinary, and learning some amazing things. My favorite assignments are the ones where we are given a full creative license to take the skills we’ve learned and translate them into our own creations. You may remember the Bloody Mary Gazpacho that I created in my previous class, Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine, which was the result of one of these creative exercises.
I’m currently taking the second class, Advanced Raw Cuisine, where we were given another of these exercises to create 2 “amuse bouche” plates. This raw vegan ‘prosciutto’ and melon dish was one of those creations. I wanted a way to re-create a popular non-vegan hors d’oeuvre in a more healthful and kind way that would still please the palate. This was the result.
Please enjoy. 🙂
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/4 of a cantaloupe, 1/4 of a honeydew melon, or 1/2 of a hami melon
- 1/4-1/2 of an avocado
- 1 TB grapeseed oil
- generous pinch (or 2) of smoked sea salt
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the bell pepper. It's ok if you can't get the very top and bottom. We'll only be shaving off the flatter and broader sides.
- Using a mandolin slicer, shave off slices of the bell pepper that are as thin as you can make them while still keeping the cut pieces completely in tact with a continuous surface (no holes).
- Depending on the thickness you'd like the 'prosciutto' to be for the final plating, you may cut these in half. I did for the toothpick plating, but for something served on a plate, you might prefer to leave them wider.
- Add the shaved peppers to a bowl with the grapeseed oil, smoked sea salt, and smoked paprika. Toss them all together and ensure each piece is thoroughly coated. This will add not only a slightly darker color, but a smoky and salty flavor, and result in a pliable texture. Let it marinade for 15-20 minutes or until the peppers have the texture of a thinly shaved prosciutto.
- While the peppers are marinading, make melon balls and slice some triangle shaped avocado wedges.
- To assemble, slide onto toothpicks: avocados, then the peppers bent into wavy ribbons, and then a melon ball.
- Serve either on small plates or in some spoons.
- You can easily scale this recipe up or use other colored peppers or melons to get a different visual effect.
- I recommend not substituting for a different oil. Grapeseed was selected for its neutral flavor and salty undertones.
- Smoked sea salt contributes toward the smoky flavor of this dish. The smoked paprika is essential, but if you don't have smoked salt, using regular salt will still produce a good result. The smoky flavor will not be as rich, though.
- You can use any kind of avocado you like. I originally used the Florida avocado to add a bit of sweetness to the dish, but I prefer the Haas avocados.
- It is very helpful if you look for bell peppers that have relatively flat and broad sides, as they will be run over a mandolin slicer.
- If you slice the wider shaved pepper pieces in half and you have a larger pepper to start with, you should get 15-20 pieces from it.
- Traditionally, these are served alone, but you can add a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or some fresh herbs if you like. I think serving them with a bit of basil or mint makes an excellent palate cleanser.