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In my search to find some watermelon ideas for National Watermelon Day last week, I found tons of unique and fun watermelon cocktails, punches, and deserts. Most surprisingly though (well at least to me), I found a number of savory recipes. I know cooking with fruit is not a new idea, but I had complete tunnel vision when it came to watermelon. To me, it has always been served cut up and eaten in a fruit cocktail, or as a refreshing treat on a hot summer day. So with this new revelation of using watermelon in a savory meal, I put my blinders down and was inspired to give it a try.
Sticking with my roots, I decided on a caprese-style watermelon. While I’m pretty sure this recipe will have my old-fashioned Italian familia thinking I’ve gone a little “pazzo”. I actually was inspired to create this from a recipe I found on the Filippo Berio Olive Oil website. FYI: this is my olive oil of preference. I really enjoyed making and eating this watermelon caprese, it’s a surprisingly versatile dish. It could be used in a salad, on bruschetta, and even as a garnish for meats and fish.
The savory possibilities are endless with watermelon, but I chose to pair mine with arugula and ricotta salata.
Note: Ricotta Salata is a dry cheese that is made from milk curds and whey, it is made before the cheese is aged, it is salty and has a sponge-like texture. It can be cubed, crumbled, or grated and can be served with salads, vegetables, or with pasta. It is most similar to feta cheese.
I made two dishes with this watermelon caprese. In the first dish, I cubed up the watermelon and cheese and tossed it together with a touch of balsamic dressing, and then served it over a bed of arugula.
The second dish was a watermelon Bruschetta Caprese. I made this by dicing the watermelon and ricotta salata and then adding a few cups of finely chopped arugula. After mixing it all together, I spooned it over slices of toasted Italian Bread. I actually used some homemade flatbread focaccia. Using a long loaf of Italian bread, sliced into 1/4″ rounds, and lightly toasted would also be perfect. Once the bread and caprese were plated I gave it a lite balsamic and olive oil drizzle (lemon dressing would also work well here). TIP: remember watermelon has a high water content so do not plate and drizzle with dressing or oils until ready to serve – this will help keep the bread crisp and not soggy.
I hope you enjoyed this savory watermelon post and maybe use the corners of your culinary vision to give this a try. As always, thanks for clicking on that link and I hope you’ll come back again for more recipes or stick around and check out more of my other recipes.
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- 2-4 cups of arugula
- 3 cups of watermelon
- 1 cup Ricotta Salata*
- Balsamic Vinegrette
- Salt and pepper to taste
Watermelon Caprese Arugula Salad
- Dice the watermelon and cheese
- Wash and dry 4 cups of arugula, place in a bowl or on a serving platter
- Mix the balsamic dressing, salt and pepper together and place on top of salad
Watermelon Caprese Bruschetta over bread or meats/fish
- Dice watermelon, ricotta salata
- Chiffonade or chop 2 cups of arugula
- Toss all ingredients together
- Slice up 1 large baguette into 1/4 inch rounds and lightly toast under the broiler
- Remove the slices and place them onto a serving tray
- Dollop caprese salad over each piece of bread
- Lightly drizzle balsamic vinagerette over each piece
- Serve as an appetizer or anytime
- Adjust measurements to your taste
- I did use less arugula in the bruschetta
- If you cant find ricotta salata use feta, gorgonzola or blue cheese
- My balsamic dressing is basically 2 parts balsamic to 1 part extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, mixed together
- Use a squeeze bottle to drizzle the dressing over the bruschetta