caprese with a grated watermelon dressing

Watermelon and tomatoes go together like peanut butter and jelly. This salad is gorgeous because of its seasonal ingredients! Feel free to use any variety of tomatoes. I enjoy using cherry tomatoes, local John's Island tomatoes and/or heirloom tomatoes. Olinda olive oil sets this caprese off! I usually whisk the mustard into dressings to emulsify the dressing, in other words, to bring it together, but the aesthetic of whole grain mustard atop bright tomatoes is eye-catching. Feel free to mix the mustard into the dressing if you prefer!

Feeds 4-6 as a salad

For salad:

1 1/2 pounds assorted tomatoes

7 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced in 1/2 (I like Buf ciliegine, found at Whole Foods, but any will do)

1/4 cup watermelon, cut into cubes

2 teaspoons of whole grain mustard

A handful of torn basil leaves

Kosher salt or flaky salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (aka Olinda olive oil)

Zest and juice of one lemon


For watermelon dressing:

1/4 of a seedless watermelon, grated on a coarse grater to the firm skin (should make 1/2 cup grated watermelon)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Kosher salt, to taste

1 clove garlic, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or thyme leaves

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

A pinch of red pepper flakes

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, I recommend Olinda olive oil


For the salad, cut any regular vine-ripe tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices and cut them in half, if you'd like. Cut any cherry tomatoes in half, vertically, through the stem. Slice the mozzarella slices or ciliegine in half. Arrange the tomatoes, watermelon and mozzarella to your liking.


For the dressing, add the sugar and salt to the grated watermelon; stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the garlic, rosemary or thyme leaves, vinegar, red-pepper flakes and oil. Whisk together. The dressing makes 1 cup, and will keep, refrigerated, up to 1 week. Mix before use.


Pour the dressing carefully over the salad. Garnish with dollops of whole grain mustard and torn basil leaves, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the zest and juice of one lemon to add brightness to the salad. Drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

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