Winter produce can get pretty sparse. Those fun colored salads are a thing of the past this season. However, I think I’ve got a colorful and flavorful salad to tide us over until spring begins to bloom. I even added some fun mozzarella cheese balls because obviously (you know how much I love cheese). Winter Citrus Melon Caprese Salad to the rescue!!
I love this salad because it finally adds some color to the sometimes quite sad palette of winter. Especially the blood oranges!! SO many different colors! Bright, ruby red, dark magenta, and even some good ol’ fashioned orange. Mixed in with pink grapefuit, trusty navel and cara cara oranges, plus fresh mint and light green honey dew, it’s like art on a plate.
Oh and don’t forget those Mozzarella balls! Otherwise, the “caprese” in Winter Citrus Melon Caprese Salad is defunct. Usually, a caprese salad also has some form of balsamic vinegar drizzled on it but in the interest of keeping this dish both light in flavor and color, I decided on a simple, fresh champagne vinaigrette. Literally just champagne vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. If you can’t find champagne vinaigrette at your local grocery store, go ahead and substitute with regular white wine vinegar (noted in the recipe). Not quite as snazzy but just as tasty.
Also, I found an absolutely amazing Persian Lime olive oil at a fantastic store up north in Lynden, WA . Quaint, adorable dutch town with a vinegar and olive oil tasting shop called Drizzle…???????????? I’m in LOVE with this olive oil! Since this recipe is chock full o’ citrus, I decided to use this Persian Lime version instead of regular olive oil to add even more flavor. However, I realize most people will just have regular olive oil so to get a similar taste, go ahead and add a couple drops of lime juice to your vinaigrette and you’ll be golden (noted in the recipe).
Quick update: When this post goes live, I’ll have had my super exciting sinus surgery ????. Basically I’m gunna be laid out on the couch for a few days reading books and rockin’ Zelda Skyward Sword till I fall asleep (anyone else eagerly anticipating the Nintendo switch and Zelda Breath of Wild?? I know this is a food blog but you never know ???? <- my nerd face). Anyhoo, once I’m all recovered I should be a brand new person finally back at 100%, ready to AMAZE you all with delicious new recipes and easy peezy yet oh so fancy looking meals. Get excited!! I know I am ????????.
For the Salad
- 3–4 cups honeydew melon balls (about 1 medium honeydew, scooped with a melon baller)
- 2 small navel oranges
- 2 small cara cara oranges
- 2 small blood oranges
- 1 medium grapefruit
- 8 ounces mozzarella balls, drained
- 3–4 sprigs fresh mint
For the Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar*
- 1/4 cup extra virgin Persian Lime olive oil*
- Pinch of salt
- Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil and salt. Set aside.
- Slice peels and pith (white layer) off of all the citrus and thinly slice.
- Remove mint leaves from stems and chiffonade .
- Arrange citrus, melon, and mozzarella balls on a platter as desired. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Top with mint and fresh ground black pepper.
*If you cannot find champagne vinegar, white wine vinegar is a great substitute and is found at most grocery stores.
*If using regular extra virgin olive oil, add 1-2 drops of lime juice to create a similar flavor.