Watermelon Caprese Salad

watermelon caprese

This salad is a fresh summer twist on an Italian classic and is a sure crowd pleaser. The first time I made this, I realized I had no tomatoes and thought ‘why not try watermelon instead?’ I’m glad I did as the sweetness of the watermelon is beautifully complemented by the creaminess of the fresh mozzarella. The tanginess of the lemon zest and balsamic glaze add another level of flavor.

This has become a favorite at our BBQs and even while sailing. On a hot summer day while racing from Marblehead, Massachusetts to Halifax, Nova Scotia I made this refreshing salad and needless to say, the crew were very happy. This salad was also featured in the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race news as part of my boat winning the ‘prestigious’ Cook’s Plate, an award that goes to the last boat to cross the finish line. Ah well, we may have finished at the end of the pack, but at least we ate very well!

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Watermelon Caprese Salad
Serves 4


  • 1 medium seedless watermelon
  • 2 mozzarella balls (8 ounces each), sliced into rounds
  • Italian salami, thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • Balsamic vinegar glaze, to drizzle
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Slice the watermelon into 1/4-3/8 inch thick slices. Then, using a 2 inch cookie cutter, cut the watermelon into round slices.
  2. On a plate, alternately layer the watermelon, salami and sliced mozzarella.
  3. Add fresh basil leaves to garnish and grate lemon zest over top. Finally, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze.
  4. The watermelon can also be sliced and cut ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to assemble.

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