A heat wave is coming. I would take winter coming over a heat wave anytime. I signed up to take a meal for a family in my neighborhood who just had a baby, via Take Them A Meal. Take Them A Meal is a website to make scheduling meals to bring to people easier. It is an awesome website to use when a person has a baby, is moving, going through a loss, etc. Although I want to be helpful, the thought of cooking over a hot stove is unappealing. I started brainstorming and realized that I had some watermelon, fresh herbs out in the garden, and The Flavor Bible.
The Flavor Bible is not your ordinary cookbook. It is a huge index of ingredients that lists other ingredients that complement that ingredient. It also explains the flavor profile of the ingredient and if needed, ingredients that should never be paired. For example, if you look up blueberries, it provides a list of other fruits, spices, vegetables, etc. that would taste good with blueberries. It essentially puts the power of recipe making in your hands!
I decided to create a spicy watermelon caprese salad. Simple to make, no standing over a hot stove required and thirst-quenching.
I am keeping the ingredients separate until it is served, but I did make a serving for myself to make sure it tastes good. The spicy heat of the serrano pepper combined with the cooling notes of the watermelon and mozzarella cheese, was accented by the bright notes of the basil. Very revitalizing after a long, hot day.
I used lemon and lime basil from my garden, which gave a unique twist on the typical sweet basil used in caprese salads. It was a nice substitute for lemon zest or juice and the drizzle of homemade balsamic vinaigrette cut the sweetness of the watermelon perfectly. Let me know what kind of dishes you enjoy in the heat of the summer!
1/2 medium sized Watermelon, balled, or cut into bite sized cubes
8 oz fresh Bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), or 8 oz fresh Mozzarella cut into bite sized pieces
1 Tbls, loosely packed, each of Lemon and Lime Basil, chopped, or 2 Tbls Sweet Basil, loosely packed, chopped and 1 tsp lemon zest
1 Serrano Pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (if you like more heat, keep the seeds)
For the Dressing
2-3 Tbls Balsalmic Vinegar
1 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Honey
Salt and ground Pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, gently toss together watermelon, cheese, basil and serrano pepper. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and ground pepper.
Drizzle balsamic dressing over watermelon mixture right before serving. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!