Introduction: Watermelon Caprese Salad
I can't think of a more perfect summer side dish than this one; juicy watermelon, fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil, and buttery mozzarella brought together by nothing more than extra virgin olive oil, reduced balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Fast to assemble with flavors that literally burst in your mouth!
When Ohio farmers grow such great foods it takes little effort to create delicious meals. This salad is a delicious way to start any barbecue feast and I serve it as often as I can during our tomato and watermelon growing season. Please take the time to see what your local farmer's market has to offer.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
3 cups seedless watermelon, cut in 1-inch pieces, you can also do rounds using a melon baller for a prettier presentation
1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes, cut in half, quartered if large
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, by all means if you can get fresh it will only make this salad better
12 medium-sized basil leaves, finely chopped, I used a purple variety we grow
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Glaze (Trader Joe's makes this and I love it, though it's ridiculously simple to reduce balsamic vinegar in a pan until syrupy, use 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar and if you like things sweet, add 1 Tbsp. sugar, stir to dissolve sugar, bring to boil in a small saucepan, lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced to 1 Tbsp.)
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt to taste, I use Kosher
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Step 2: Assemble Salad and Enjoy
I like to squeeze most of the seeds from tomatoes, then drain a few minutes on paper towels so they don't make the salad too watery.
If you need to buy 8 oz. of mozzarella because of the amount you'll eat while cutting, please do so, I won't tell a soul.
The way I dice basil is to do a chiffonade cut; roll up the leaves, cut them in thin strips, then cut the strips into smaller pieces.
Place watermelon, tomatoes, and basil in a large bowl, add oil, balsamic glaze and salt and pepper to taste, just don't taste too much or you'll eat the whole bowl! Mix well and serve.