Watermelon Caprese Salad


Wow, life gets busier. I thought the new baby stage would be busiest, but in retrospect I had a lot of time to spend on my laptop, sleeping baby across my chest. Now, I have a little guy who wakes up, wolfs down breakfast, and is raring to go. So much to do! So much to see! Yesterday, he picked up my purse, slung the strap over his shoulder, blew me kisses and waved bye bye as he headed for the door.

If I take my eyes off him for a second, he’s either eating toothpaste or putting my iPad in the garbage, so snatching a few minutes for email, etc. is not easy.


He’s also adamant that he should be the one to hold poor Oliver’s leash when we go out. Oliver is very patient, but he is obviously wondering what he did to deserve this…


Anyway, it’s only natural, I guess, that I’m favouring simple, fresh summer recipes. This salad shows how when you use good ingredients, they speak for themselves – minimal preparation is needed to make stellar meals in the warm months when produce is at its peak.

A perfectly ripe, fuchsia watermelon, buttery fresh mozzarella, fruity olive oil, fresh basil leaves and an easy-peasy two-ingredient balsamic reduction that is so yummy you’ll want to put it on your ice cream.

A word to the wise, here – when you’re simmering down your balsamic reduction, don’t multi-task. I walked away for a couple minutes and came back to a smoking, burnt caramel disaster. And then the air was heavy with vinegar in a way that burned our nostrils and made our eyes water.

I used a tablespoon measuring spoon to make melon balls the key is to dig in at an angle, then twist your wrist – don’t try to scoop in a line like you would ice cream. Feel free to substitute ripe tomatoes, peaches, nectarines or other melon here – they’d all be delicious!

I’m not a big “salad-for-lunch” person unless it’s got a hearty grain or some chicken/fish/beans to fill me up, but the thick slices of mozzarella are very hearty and satisfying. With a baguette, this could easily be a light lunch for four.

Watermelon Caprese Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 cups 1” watermelon balls or cubes
  • 1 (260 gram/9 oz) fresh mozzarella ball, sliced into ¼” thick rounds
  • olive oil, for drizzling (about 3 tbsp)
  • flaky salt (such as Maldon)
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • torn basil leaves
  1. Simmer balsamic vinegar and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to a thick syrup (any consistency between maple syrup and honey is fine). Watch closely as it reduces, as it can burn quickly.
  2. Divide watermelon and mozzarella slices between four plates. Drizzle with olive oil, then with balsamic vinegar reduction. Finish with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper, and lots of torn basil leaves.
  • http://www.floatingkitchen.net Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Ummm….can we talk about this plate for a second. Damn. I want it! It’s beautiful!!! And I love the idea of a watermelon caprese salad. Looks so good!

    • http://www.foodess.com Jennifer Pallian

      Thanks, Liz, it’s from Homesense (if you’re in Canada) :)

  • Lynne

    What type of mozza do you buy, Jenn–and where in Vancouver do you buy it? I’ve bought some at the grocery store before (Saputo brand?) and it was not great–mostly rubbery and tasteless. I’m guessing where the cheese plays such a starring role it might be worth hitting up Les Amis, Bosa or Granville Island for the good stuff? Any recommendations?

    And ha: Poor Oliver! Thank goodness for the patience of dogs :)

    • http://www.foodess.com Jennifer Pallian

      Sorry for the late reply, Lynne! Totally worth hitting up Granville Island (that’s where I get mine).

  • http://www.foodpleasureandhealth.com Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health

    love that picture with Oliver…and this salad, i am so impressed!!!

    • http://www.foodess.com Jennifer Pallian

      Thanks Dixya :)

  • http://www.federation-moto.ch Fabian

    What a great idea. I’ve never thought of combining watermelon and caprese salad. It looks very tasty an perfect during summer. Really beautiful pictures, I love how your dog enjoys the wind :D Thanks for sharing

    • http://www.foodess.com Jennifer Pallian

      Thank you, Fabian!

  • http://WildGooseTea.com Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    I don’t know what I loved more—-the salad or your son and the dog picture. Ha! Pretty sweet. The salad is different. Watermelon is so refreshing and the cheese is good at making feel full. Plus nice contrast in textures.

    • http://www.foodess.com Jennifer Pallian

      Thanks Carol! :)