“The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, and not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented.”
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Boy, the dog days of summer are upon us. We’ve had a mild respite from the 100* plus temperatures, which I am grateful for but the humidity has been high, so it’s a challenge to find the relief. I will take 90’s over 100’s and be okay with it even if I do have numerous “bad hair days”.
Does it bother you when you buy a big green watermelon, mouth-watering, just thinking of that juicy, sweet melon, dripping down your chin, only to get it home and discover it is a dud? That has happened to me more than once this summer but yesterday I found a good one. Ahhhh.. juicy, refreshing, sweetness. When Miss T discovers the slices I am storing in the frig she will polish off most of it singlehandedly. Before she has that opportunity I wanted to try a version of Caprese Salad with my ripe, red melon.
Caprese Salad is one of my favorite meals, yes I like to make a meal of it. I also enjoy it as an appetizer again and again. This is a twist on Caprese Salad to be certain. I thought about using goat cheese or feta but when I discovered my local grocery to have “mozzarella pearls” I decided to go with the traditional Caprese cheese. The drizzle of balsamic vinegar undeniably is the finishing touch. I used some fig balsamic, love figs, and it was a prime addition to the salad. If you don’t have any flavored balsamic on hand regular, good quality balsamic vinegar will grant you a tasty salad.
Here are a couple of other Caprese Salad versions I found inspiration from. Rufus did it with strawberries and goat cheese http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/strawberry-caprese/
La Bella Vita made it with goat cheese and watermelon http://bellavita-bellasblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Recipe, and over at Oven Love http://ovenlove.blogspot.com/2012/07/caprese-salad-skewers.html Natalie turned them into summer skewers, brilliant!
Watermelon cut into small cubes
Mozzarella Pearls – about 1 cup
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh herbs, (I used basil, lemon basil and rosemary) finely chopped
3 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
Balsamic vinegar for drizzling (I used fig flavored balsamic)
Prepare the marinated cheese a couple of hours before serving your salad.
Pour oil into a jar, add in herbs, garlic and pepper flakes, shake until combined. Add in mozzarella pearls and shake gently to coat cheese with herb mixture. Allow this mixture to sit for a couple of hours before serving the salad.
When ready to serve; place watermelon on plates or in bowls, shake your cheese/herb mix once again and spoon a few cheese balls over the tops of the melon. Be sure and drizzle some of the oil and herb mixture over the melon too. Finally drizzle your choice of balsamic vinegar over all.
Any left over mozzarella pearls make a great appetizer the next evening served with some crackers, bread sticks and assorted fruits, veggies and other cheeses, or mixed with a few cherry or grape tomatoes.