Having spent almost a week without seeing my parents, we were eager to spend time with them when we returned home from Beaufort Monday aftermoon. We figured the best thing would be to have them over for dinner. The trick was to find a low maintenance meal we could make that would allow us to keep Jane busy and unpack and reorganize after the trip. Mark decided he'd like to smoke some ribs, so I decided to take on the sides. We had two amazing side dishes at our friend's Fourth of July gathering that fit the bill. The first was a grilled corn (I roasted it), tomato and avocado salad with a cilantro vinaigrette, and the second was a fresh mozzarella, watermelon, and basil salad. Both were excellent and perfect to prepare ahead of time and bring out when my folks arrived.
The watermelon salad is amazing! I've tried several other, and this is by far the best. I like that the flavor of the mozz does not take over the salad the way that feta can. The basil added a certain herbacious goodness that was just right. I must confess that I cubed rather than balled my watermelon to save time. I also omitted the scallions. Next time, I;m going to serve them on the side because I do think they'll add a nice punch for those interested.
Next time you're looking for an easy, healthy, and completely enjoyable side dish, this one's got your name all over it!
Fresh Mozzarella Watermelon Salad with Purple Basil
2 cups seeded small watermelon balls
2 cups fresh mozzarella pieces
1 cup chopped fresh basil (purple or green)
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 dash basalmic vinegar as desired