Melon Mozzarella Basil Bites Recipe
This is a delicious take on tomato-mozzarella salad, or the Italian caprese salad. Sweet ripe melon stands in for the tomatoes. It has a similar texture and sweetness, and the vinegar and olive oil marinade makes it taste a bit more savory with the cheese. You can use cherry tomatoes instead of the melon, or see the variation below to turn it into a salad.
Makes 25 bites; serves 4-6
Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus marinating time
1/2 bunch fresh organic basil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (preservative-free)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 of a 3-pound ripe organic cantaloupe or red watermelon
8 ounces ciliegini or small mozzarella balls (cherry size), drained
1. Separate 25 whole smaller leaves from the basil and set aside. Chop some of the remaining basil finely and measure 1 teaspoon for the marinade. Place in a small bowl with the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
2. Use a melon baller or a round ½ teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out 25 melon balls (you will have some leftover melon). To make the balls nice and round, insert the melon baller or spoon deep into the melon then twist; try to find a relatively flat surface to start with.
3. Skewer 1 melon ball and 1 mozzarella ball on each toothpick, separated by a basil leaf. Place in a shallow bowl and toss with the marinade. Set aside for 1 hour to marinate at room temperature, and stir once or twice while it marinates. Serve.