|Mosaic Melon Salad with Mixed Melon Cubes, Heirloom Tomatoes, Red Chili Flake Finishing Salt, |
Basil-Mint Pesto, + Balsamic Reduction, Topped with Homemade Feta Burrata
|the. perfect. summer. salad. EVER.|
For the Red Chili Flake Finishing Salt:
2T High Quality Salt (such as Maldon, Pink Himalayan, Fleur de Sel, or Gray Sea Salt)
1T Red Pepper Flakes (if you don’t like a lot of heat, then you can cut back on the flakes)
¼t Cayenne or Paprika
For the Homemade Basil-Mint Pesto:
1C Fresh Basil Leaves, Lightly Packed
2C Fresh Mint Leaves, Lightly Packed
2 Garlic Cloves, Roughly Chopped
¼C Toasted Pine Nuts, Roughly Chopped
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon (plus a little bit of freshly grated lemon zest)
½C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½C Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Salt & Pepper, To Taste (and a pinch of sugar for some balance)
For the Mosaic Melon Salad:
Fresh Watermelon, Honeydew, & Cantaloupe, Cut into 1 or 2-inch Cubes
1 Red + 1 Yellow Heirloom Tomato, Cut into 1 or 2-inch Cubes
1 Avocado, Cut into 1 or 2-inch Cubes (this is optional, but I love the creaminess it lends)
Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, To Your Liking (lime can also be substituted)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, For Drizzling
Prepared Red Chili Flake Finishing Salt, For Sprinkling
1 Ball of Homemade Feta Burrata (some substitutes are classic Burrata or crumbled feta)
Prepared Homemade Basil-Mint Pesto, For Topping
Fresh Basil + Fresh Mint, Julienned (for garnishing)
Syrupy Balsamic Reduction, For Drizzling
Shaved Raw Red Onions or Pickled Red Onions (we liked the acidity of the pickled onions)
1. For the Red Chili Flake Finishing Salt: Combine the salt of your choice, along with the red pepper flakes, and cayenne/paprika. Whisk and mash slightly for a more cohesive salt.
2. For the Homemade Basil-Mint Pesto: Put the basil, mint, garlic, pine nuts, about ½t of salt, lemon juice, & lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop the ingredients, scraping down the bowl when necessary. Remove this pureed mixture into a bowl and whisk in the olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese until they are completely incorporated throughout. Season with salt, pepper, and some sugar to taste.
3. For the Mosaic Melon Salad: When cutting the melons, tomato, and avocado, try to make them into the same sized cubes, so that they will fit together perfectly together, like a puzzle or mosaic. I organized my fruit & vegetable squares by a pattern of color (just try to mix it up a little bit, so that there aren’t any of the same colors next to one another. Once you have an entire plate of rainbow cubes, evenly squeeze a little bit of lemon juice all over the plate, and then drizzle on some olive oil. Next, sprinkle the Red Chili Flake Finishing Salt all over the salad (this part really gives the salad a deep flavor and perfectly balances the dish between sweet, salty, and spicy, so don’t skip it).
4. Serving the Salad: Place the ball of Homemade (or store bought) Feta Burrata in the middle of the salad and spoon the Basil-Mint Pesto all over the top of the Burrata (and a little around the plate). Garnish the pesto covered Burrata with julienned fresh basil + mint, as well as a generous drizzling of syrup balsamic reduction all over the plate (we love balsamic reduction, so we use a lot). Finish the plate by placing a small pile of pickled red onions (or thinly shaved raw red onion) on the center of the Burrata ball. Season with a little salt & pepper if it needs it.
5. Enjoy it immediately with a glass of wine!