I got the idea for this dish when I made prosciutto ice cream, and spent some time thinking about how I would present a classic flavor combination. Instead of sitting the ice cream on top of a melon slice, which would be difficult to cut with a spoon, I compressed the melon by vacuum sealing and refrigerating it for twelve hours.
Compressed melon has a more intense flavor and color, and a firmer texture. I cut the slices into quarter-inch cubes.
I plated the ice cream over the melon cubes, added a few strips of basil chiffonade, and topped with a chip of duck prosciutto.
The dish was accompanied by a chilled, tart lambrusco:
Apart from the novelty of the savory ice cream, this starter was a playful way to begin the meal. If I make it again, I may try a different method to present the basil.