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 Basil Salad Ingredients
- 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
How To Make Watermelon Basil Salad
- 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.
- 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.