The last long weekend of summer is here, just in time for this sweet and juicy variation on a caprese salad. Melon, cucumbers, and a tangle of arugula have replaced the tomatoes, but the classic version’s fresh mozzarella and basil are still key to this salad’s success. The flavors are subtle and refreshing, a perfect complement to summer’s salty grilled meats.
As much as I love a traditional caprese, this is the point in the summer when I start craving something new. The Bojon Gourmet (a blog I’ve been loving lately) shared this recipe earlier this week…and I’ve already made it twice. Each bite presents a different flavor combination: peppery, sweet, creamy, and salty—it’s all here. Saying so long to summer is always a drag, but this salad proves it doesn’t have to taste that way.
Today’s recipe is part of our new “one for the weekend” series. Every Friday, we’ll share a short post intended to send you off for the weekend with something snacky, sweet, fresh, or just plain tasty. Enjoy!
melon and cucumber caprese salad
adapted from The Bojon Gourmet
You can use any melon you’d like (except for watermelon)—use a couple of varieties or just choose your favorite. This is best eaten right after it’s made; the arugula wilts quickly and the basil will start to darken if left to sit for too long.
Serves 4 as a side.
1 quarter cantaloupe, cut into ¼”-thick slices, peeled, and halved
1 quarter canary melon (or cantaloupe or any other kind of melon), cut into ¼”-thick slices, peeled, and halved
1 cucumber, cut into thin rings
2 handfuls of arugula
12 basil leaves, cut or torn into pieces
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, dried on paper towels, cut into ¼”-thick slices, and torn into large pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons white wine vinegar
freshly ground pepper
Place melon pieces, cucumbers, arugula, and basil in a large bowl. Add olive oil, vinegar, 1/8th teaspoon salt, and a few cranks of pepper. Gently combine with your hands. Taste the mixture and add vinegar, salt, or pepper to taste.
Arrange melon mixture on a platter, but reserve the extra liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Top the melon mixture with the fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle the salad with a pinch of flaky salt and a few grinds of pepper. Drizzle the reserved liquid from the mixing bowl over top of the salad, being sure to hit the mozzarella pieces.