The Italians pull off this beautiful marriage of flavours and textures brilliantly. It's particularly worth serving now, as melons are bang in season and at their juiciest.

Serves 4

4 balls of buffalo mozzarella, about 125g/41/2oz each
Vinaigrette (whisk together 3tbsp olive oil, 4tsp lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste)
1 small ripe charentais or cantaloupe melon, halved and deseeded with a spoon
Pepper
8 slices of prosciutto di Parma or prosciutto di San Daniele
100g/31/2oz salted pistachio nuts, shelled and lightly crushed
50g/13/4oz rocket leaves

To serve

A small handful of basil leaves
Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Aged balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Parmesan cheese shavings (optional)

Remove the mozzarella from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Let it come to room temperature and drain off the liquid. Tear each ball into three or four large pieces and arrange on four plates. Drizzle over a little vinaigrette and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Scoop out crescent-shaped pieces of melon, digging the side of a dessert spoon deep into the flesh and lift out a neatly curved spoonful. Season the melon with black pepper and carefully arrange on top of the mozzarella. Drape two slices of prosciutto over and around the melon on each plate. Scatter the pistachio nuts over the salad. Toss the rocket with a little vinaigrette; divide between the plates.

Tear and scatter the basil leaves around the plates. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Finish with a few shavings of Parmesan if you like.

Find these recipes and more in 'Aaron Cooks Italian' (Mitchell Beazley, £18.99).

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