When a watermelon arrives in our kitchen, we get busy. Make room in the fridge. Dispatch the orb into manageable sections. Think of ways to use it. Cubes for snacking, fat slices for dessert and hot-weather salads. This Watermelon Burrata Caprese is a riff on the ubiquitous mozzarella, tomato and basil salad. Fresh basil brings out the delicate flavor of ripe sweet watermelon. Luscious burrata cheese balances the sweetness and peppery roasted almonds make the dish pop.

Watermelon caprese pepper salted almonds

Jump to Recipe

If you haven’t tried burrata, here is a good excuse to do so. Burrata cheese is fresh mozzarella with a decadent creamy center. It is made like any fresh mozzarella. But when kneading the warm curds, the cheese maker pulls and stretches a piece into a pouch into which more cream and fresh curds are poured. From the outside, you wouldn’t know that it has an oozing center.

Burrata is messy to cut. For this Watermelon Burrata Caprese, you divide the ball of cheese as best you can into cream-coated sections. But if you like, just plop the burrata in the middle of the watermelon-lined plate then cut into it at the table.

You barely need a recipe for this dish. But sometimes its nice to have a little road map.

Kitchen Notebook

Liuzzi Gourmet Food Market in North Haven is a Connecticut institution. When I want to practice speaking Italian I stop in; someone is always sharing a story while gesticulating. Their shop on State Street offers a full line of imported foods, deli meats and cheese.  But we go for the fresh mozzarella and burrata or cute little sack-shaped scamorza and other cheeses made on premises.

Watermelon Burrata Caprese

Yield: 2 Servings

Watermelon Burrata Caprese


For the Pepper Salted Almonds

1 cup almonds

1 tablespoon butter, melted

½ - ¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the Balsamic Dressing:

¼ cup imported balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1/2 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad

3 or 4 thin slices of seedless watermelon, rind removed

One 4-ounce ball fresh burrata or mozzarella

Julienned basil

Fresh ground black pepper


    For the Pepper Salted Almonds:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Chop the almonds neatly into large, uniform pieces.
  3. Toss them with the butter, salt and pepper.
  4. Spread the nuts out into an even layer onto the prepared pan. Roast them for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the nuts from the oven. Stir them then return them to the oven to roast for another 5 or 6 minutes, until the almonds are uniformly browned throughout.
  6. Let them cool. Stored in a tightly sealed jar they will keep for 2 or 3 weeks if they last that long.
  7. For the the Balsamic Dressing:
  8. Combine the vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a deep measuring cup or bowl. Add the olive oil and combine the dressing using an immersion blender or whisk.
  9. For the Salad:
  10. Place three or four watermelon slices in an even layer on a serving plate. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the buratta into four or five pieces. Scoop up each slice and its cream and place on top of the watermelon. Drizzle with balsamic dressing, shredded basil and the Pepper Salted Almonds.