Who doesn’t like the classic caprese salad? In my opinion, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t! This iconic dish of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil appears on the menu at just about any Italian restaurant you go to. It’s that popular! I’m always up for a change, so I decided to switch things up a bit by replacing the tomatoes with super-sweet honeydew melon and using a creamy burrata (mozzarella made from buffalo milk) instead of the usual mozzarella made from cow’s milk. I brought this to a friend’s recently to enjoy by her lovely pool and it couldn’t have been more refreshing! The basil from my garden gave it a sweet, fresh flavor; and the pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (ground from hot peppers that were also grown in my garden) added just the right amount of heat to offset the sweetness of the melon. If you prefer, use cantaloupe instead of honeydew or a combination of both would be delicious — and pretty, too!
Melon, Burrata & Basil
- Half of a ripe honeydew melon, seeded (if using a cantaloupe, use both halves since the fruit is smaller)
- About 4-5 ounces of burrata cheese
- 3-4 basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Pinch of sea salt
- Step 1 Using a melon baller or small ice cream scoop, scoop balls from the fleshy part of the honeydew.
- Step 2 Arrange the melon balls on a wide dish with sides.
- Step 3 Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the melon. Season with a pinch of salt and the crushed red pepper.
- Step 4 Tear pieces of the burrata and lay them on top of the melon.
- Step 5 Drizzle a bit more oil on the pieces of burrata. Sprinkle with another pinch of salt. (If you like things spicy, add another pinch of the red pepper, too)
- Step 6 Finish the dish with the ribbons of fresh basil. This is easy to do by stacking the leaves, then rolling them up and chopping width-wise.
- Step 7 Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.