Friday, July 15, 2011

Watermelon Caprese Salad with Thyme-Mint Vinaigrette

Thank you to everyone who "piped in" via Twitter & Facebook with your favorite ways to eat Watermelon. 
I already had somewhat of an idea as to what I wanted to do with the juicy/sweet melon - but I'm always interested in hearing what you guys like, first and foremost!
The perfect bite of food for me goes something like this:
Sweet, Salty, Acidic/Tangy, and Aromatic. 
This recipe brings all of those components to the table, and to your palate. 
Oh my goodness, what a pleasant surprise! 
The first thing I thought after savoring every bite of this lovely delicate salad was: 
"This would be the star at an appetizer buffet!" 
And how much fun would it be to have an appetizer buffet? I'm always daydreaming about feeding people and hostessing parties, but rarely do I really get a chance to gather a bunch of people underneath one roof. I think the next event I host will have to be an appetizer buffet - including this amazing gem of a dish!

Important Note About this Recipe
Herbs:
I've mentioned before that fresh Basil doesn't agree with me, so in this recipe you'll won't find it. Instead you'll see Thyme and Mint in its place. Of course, like I always say: "No rules here, only suggestions"
If you're a lover of fresh Basil, then by all means include it. I recommend taking out the Mint and replacing it with Basil, leave the Thyme - because it's so wonderful!
Cheeze: 
You don't need a Food Processor to make this! 
I've noted 2 separate Cheeze recipes for you to choose from. The first is one of my personal favs and does require a food processor - the second Cheeze recipe does not. So, you really don't have any reason to not make this dish. I specifically picked these 2 cheezes because their flavors go well with this dish, and complement the aromatic flavors from the herbs. If you decided to make your own cheeze recipe (or use real dairy cheese) then I recommend a pungent and salty cheeze. Stay away from anything sweet (like some Cashew based Cheezes) because the Watermelon adds enough on its own.
Serving: 
There are SO many ways you can plate this salad and/or serve it. In today's photos I've simply stacked it like a classic Caprese, but just because I did doesn't mean you have to!
You could serve this as a chopped Salad, leaving the Cheeze on the side for your guests to add themselves. 
I've paired this Salad with a lovely (and super simple) Cherry-Watermelon Herb Salsa, which I'll include at the very end of this recipe post. 
Watermelon Caprese Salad

Step 1. 
Cheeze
Make one of The following Cheezes:
Food Processor Required: 
-
No Food Processor Required:
-
Step 2.
Thyme-Mint Vinaigrette
Into a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the following:
1/2 c Grapeseed Oil 
1/4 c PLUS 4 Tbsp Water 
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Tbsp Date Paste //or// Coconut Nectar
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme leaves - coarsely chopped
1 tsp fresh Mint leaves - coarsely chopped
1 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Whisk Everything Together! Let it sit in an air tight container in your fridge for up to 1 hour (over night is even better) so the herbs can marinate and develop their full flavor potential.
-
Step 3.
Putting it all Together
It's as simple as this: 
Thinly slice your Watermelon
Stack/Spread your Cheeze (if you make one of my cheezes stick it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes so it can firm. This will allow it to slice better)
Garnish with fresh mint or Thyme
Gently Drizzle/Drop your Vinaigrette on top of  your Salad...
Bonus Recipe!
Cherry-Watermelon Herb Salsa (seen paired with this Salad)
Makes Roughly 1/4 Cup
5-6 Dark Cherries - pitted and then quartered
3 Tbsp minced Watermelon
pinch of minced Fresh Thyme
pinch Sea Salt
Mix everything together, let sit for 5 minutes so the juices of the Cherry and Watermelon can dance around together. 
Plate your Caprese Salad on top of this Cherry-Watermelon Salsa and enjoy!

Wishing you all a wonderful Weekend!
xoxo,

4 comments:

  1. I hope that's a good thing, Rick! ;)

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  2. priceless = has so much value it can't be put into terms...

    so yes, very good! this is food porn to the max for someone like me

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  3. *Whew*
    Yay! SUPER excited to hear this! Food Porn AtV, style :)

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