Feta cheese added pizzazz to yesterday’s recipe for Watermelon Salad with Thai Basil and Feta. Today, milder mozzarella takes center stage in our second featured organic watermelon salad.

As with yesterday’s recipe, fresh basil complements its costars. Yesterday, it was Thai basil, chosen for its mint and licorice flavors. Today, we’re using sweet basil (purple or green), the “regular” kind used in Italian and some Southeast Asian cuisines.

Other types of basil include:

  1. Lemon basil, whose citrus notes complement African and Southern Asian dishes
  2. Holy basil, popular in Thai meat dishes (but different from Thai basil)
  3. African blue basil, known for its oddly camphor-like scent; often used in salads

Use a melon baller, readily available at supermarkets and mass merchandisers, to create perfectly round melon balls.

Fresh Mozzarella Watermelon Salad with Basil

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 cups seeded small watermelon balls
2 cups fresh mozzarella pieces
1 cup freshly chopped sweet basil (purple or green)
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Assorted baby greens (lettuces)
8 pieces crostini (lightly toasted bread)
Balsamic vinegar, as desired

  1. Toss together the watermelon, mozzarella, basil, scallions and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve over a bed of baby greens, with crostini on the side.
  3. Drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar over the top, if desired.  

Recipe and photo courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board