Watermelon salad high, watermelon salad high…

Ever since I started making this twist on a watermelon caprese salad at the beginning of summer, I’ve been on a Harry Styles-level obsession with making sure I always have the ingredients for it in my kitchen. I just wanna taste it, I just wanna taste it, watermelon salad high… Either you’re frantically clicking off the page right now or humming along with me (I know some of you get me.) (And just remember, the only thing worse than me butchering these lyrics would be actually having to hear me sing them. You’re welcome, Adam.)

I feel that some of y’all might not be happy about the fact that I’m calling this a “caprese” since it’s a prettttty big stretch from the original, but I am all about a loose riff these days. Plus, if you read the actual definition of a caprese, you’ll see that it’s really more of a formula that doesn’t necessitate any one exact ingredient: veggie/fruit + cheese + herbs. And yes if you actually clicked on that link, you noticed that I’m citing my own website, lol. If it’s on the internet, it’s got to be true!

So far, this post = my brain on not enough sleep (my body clock is set to some weird 4:57am wake-up this week), so for those of you who actually want to hear about this salad, let’s dive in.

Refreshing, sweet, cold, and crunchy, this watermelon caprese salad is truly what summer dreams are made of.

And if you, like me, are always looking for something to do with the massive amounts of watermelon that you’re left with when you cut one up, this is your answer. When combining ingredients, I try to chop up my tomato, melon, and cucumber to roughly the same size so that you end up with this highly snackable chopped salad that is perfect for lunch, appetizer, or a side with grilled salmon or chicken. The addition of chopped fresh mozzarella is what makes it creamy and addictive, and basil + a squeeze of lime + olive oil (and lots of flaky sea salt) make up the simplest dressing that is really all this salad needs. It’s dreamy.

Since summer is all about making it work with what you’ve got (and we’re all limiting our grocery runs these days) I’ve tried a few adaptations to this recipe with great results. Swap cantaloupe for watermelon, try feta instead of mozzarella, and of course, the basil can be subbed with mint or cilantro — I usually use a mix of whatever fresh herbs I have on hand. Scroll on for the recipe, along with the video of me making this salad start to finish…

If you try this recipe, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment, rate it, and tag me on Instagram so I can see it! 

Watermelon Tomato Caprese Salad

Serves 4 - 6 first course

This watermelon caprese salad is crunchy, sweet, creamy, and refreshing. Meet my new favorite summer starter!

By Camille Styles
Prep

15 minutes

Categories

gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian


Ingredients

  • 1/2 seedless cucumber
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
  • 1 lime
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • flaky salt and red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Halve cherry tomatoes, and add to a large serving bowl. Depending on the cucumber's thickness, slice or chop so that pieces are similar in size to the cherry tomato halves, and add to the bowl. Chop watermelon to a similar size, and add about a cup of watermelon cubes to the bowl.
  2. Cut the mozzarella in halves or quarters, depending on size, and add them to the bowl, along with the juice of your lime, the basil leaves, a big drizzle of olive oil, a big pinch of flaky salt, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
  3. Use a serving spoon to gently toss it all together, then drizzle with a bit more olive oil and eat!
5 comments
  1. 1
    Anne Campbell | July 21, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    YUM YUM YUM. All of my fave ingreds in one super easy to make salad!

    Reply
  2. 2
    Sue | July 23, 2020 at 10:58 am

    I made it last night and it looks lovely. Zing was missing. A splash of balsamic made the flavors sing.

    Reply
  3. 3
    Heather | July 24, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    I made this salad last night to go with BLT’s and it was amazing! I added a drizzle of Balsamic reduction that we picked up in Italy right before the pandemic. But you can find really good ones at nicer grocery stores like Fresh Market. The red pepper flakes really added a depth of flavor and spice that was surprisingly incredible! Thank you for this wonderful salad.

    I have a fig tree in my backyard that is about to produce tons of lovely fruit and I may substitute the figs for watermelon soon….or let me know if you have any other delicious ideas for using fresh figs! xo

    Reply
  4. 4
    Penny | July 26, 2020 at 10:51 am

    I REALLY wanted to like this. I love all of the ingredients!!!! Not sure what I did wrong, but it had too much liquid (did follow recipe) and leftovers today wasn’t good ….

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | July 27, 2020 at 7:28 am

      Hi Penny, darn! Sorry you didn’t have a great experience with this one. I wonder if most of the watermelon liquid made it into your salad bowl… that’s the only veggie here that would typically release a lot of water. Next time, you might try chopping the watermelon on your board, then transferring it to the salad with a slotted spoon so that the solids make it into the salad but leave behind a lot of the liquid.

      Reply
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Photography

Michelle Nash