Here’s a post from the archives, originally published in 2010. There are delicious fresh local melons still available just about everywhere, including in my garden, so I thought the timing was right for this simple little salad to make another appearance.
I bought a delicious Crenshaw melon at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and after eating a few slices for breakfast yesterday morning, decided to turn the rest of it into melon balls. I had no particular reason for wanting to do this, it just seemed like a fun thing to do. And we all know that food tastes better when it’s cut into fun shapes, right?
As I was scooping out the flesh with the antique melon baller that has been in my family for as long as I can remember, I thought about the half-empty container of fresh mini mozzarella balls in the refrigerator. I had never combined melon with mozzarella before, but the melon balls and mozzarella balls were the same size and shape and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like they were destined to end up in the same bowl.
So of course they did end up in the same bowl.
I made a quick dressing of lime juice, honey, and mint since I knew those ingredients would be nice with the melon. I also added a bit of crushed red pepper because after living in Sicily for four years I now put crushed red pepper in just about everything. And of course a tiny bit of salt always helps to perk things up a bit (try a sprinkle of salt on fresh cantaloupe – yum!). The resulting salad was light, simple, and delicious!
For those of you who are dairy free (which I am at the moment), this salad would be delicious even without the mozzarella. For variety and some extra color, try mixing more than one type of melon.
Melon and Mozzarella Salad
2 cups of cold, bite-size melon balls or cubes (use your favorite type of melon)
1 cup of bite-size fresh mozzarella balls or cubes
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint leaves
small pinch of salt
small pinch of crushed red pepper
Put melon balls and mozzarella in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, lime juice, mint, salt, and crushed red pepper. Pour dressing over the melon and mozzarella then toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Yield: four servings
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