Watermelon is one of the very few things I like about summer.* This year I already had a plan for my first watermelon. Back around the holidays, my mom had brought me back some olive oils and vinegars from Devo Olive Oil. The first time I tried their jalapeno white balsamic vinegar, I knew I had to try it with watermelon. I realize this doesn’t seem like the most obvious choice, but I’ve given up on trying to understand how my brain works when it comes to flavor combinations.
Part of this idea may have stemmed from the watermelon, mozzarella, and cucumber salad with balsamic vinegar that I made last summer. I learned then how well watermelon and balsamic vinegar go together, so the idea of combining the sweet and spicy flavors of watermelon and jalapeno balsamic was something I really couldn’t wait to try. The problem was that this thought occurred to me a few months ago, so I’ve been trying to make my jalapeno balsamic last until I could buy a watermelon. This was not an easy task.
I combined watermelon with mozzarella again, but this time cut them into discs. For my first plate, I drizzled the salad with extra virgin olive oil and the jalapeno balsamic. It was delicious, but the color didn’t really pop. I made another plate the next day, only with an improved dressing.
For the dressing, I began by combining extra virgin olive oil and white jalapeno balsamic vinegar. The standard ratio for oil to vinegar is 3:1, but since I wanted plenty of jalapeno taste, I used 2:1 measurements. I added a little cracked pepper and sea salt, a drizzle of honey, and a little bit of lime zest. Once stirred, I drizzled the mixture over the plated watermelon and mozzarella. The lime zest and pepper added just a little color that the salad had been missing.
The jalapeno balsamic vinegar makes a fantastic dressing for this salad. I’ll probably be eating a lot more of this to get me through the summer.
*Although I could list for you plenty of reasons I hate summer, I'll refrain from doing so. Not only would this turn into a huge list, but you'd also probably start to understand why my mother refers (affectionately, of course) to my rants about summer as "obnoxious whining".