Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto

The most refreshing salad EVER!

A big bowl of refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect summer salad!

Seriously, if you’re in need of some hydration in your life (and I know at least all us Californians do after this heat wave we’ve been having) then this Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto is going to be your saving grace right now.


Let me tell you, we are soooo lucky that our landlord was kind enough to install A/C for us about a year ago because, judging by all my CA friends’ social media posts, every store that sells fans is completely sold out and people are sweltering in the near 100-degree heat. This does not sound like one ounce of fun to me (especially being pregnant,) so this is my open invitation to all of my overheating friends to come over and enjoy some Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto in our comfortably 75-degree little duplex!

But seriously, even if you’re not close enough to come over, you’ve GOT to get some of this salad in your life stat. Don’t get me wrong, I love a delicious classic caprese salad with that creamy mozzarella and alllll the fresh tomatoes and basil, but sometimes I just want to mix it up and swapping in the watermelon for the tomatoes is just the perfect little change (but not too much of a change) to really wow people the first time you serve it up.

A close-up shot of delicious Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect no-cook salad for summer!

And the prosciutto…Oh, the prosciutto! Okay, it’s no secret that I love the stuff, and it has that perfect saltiness (and extra protein) to really give this dish the ultimate flavor trifecta AND pass as a complete meal. I gave the prosciutto a quick spin in a saute pan to heat it up and therefore make it “pregnancy-safe,” but if you’re not expecting you can just throw it in as-is, straight from the package. Or, if you’re a vegetarian, simply omit the prosciutto and you’ll still be more than pleased with the taste. Pinky promise.

So how long will it be until you can get this Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto whipped up and ready to serve on your kitchen table? Approximately 10 minutes. No joke. There’s no cooking involved, so the most time-consuming thing about this recipe might just be chopping up the watermelon into bite-size chunks.

A single serving of Watermelon Caprese Salad with Crispy Prosciutto from CaliGirlCooking.com.

And, if you haven’t refrigerated your uncut watermelon ahead of time, you may want to give the salad a little bit of time to chill out before serving. It’s totally worth it for how much more refreshing it will make it!

I don’t know about you, but all this talking about my new favorite “salad” is making me want to whip up another batch this weekend. We’re hanging out in town again, and planning on fully enjoying the summer weather with some beach time and maybe a barbecue or two.

What are your plans for the first “official” weekend of summer?!? Making some Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto, I hope?

A bowl of this refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto is the perfect light meal for summer!

A big bowl of refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect summer salad!
Print
Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This fun take on the classic caprese salad is full of refreshing watermelon and bites of salty prosciutto. The perfect dish for warm weather entertaining!

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Snack
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 mini seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 12 ounces ciliegine (mini mozzarella balls)
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 5 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of balsamic glaze
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except the balsamic glaze to a large bowl and toss to combine. 

  2. If watermelon was not pre-chilled before cutting, place salad in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

  3. Before serving, drizzle on balsamic glaze and garnish with whole basil leaves, if desired.

Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto | CaliGirlCooking.com

Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese

The ultimate Dad food.

A large serving platter of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese over a bed of mixed greens.

But really, if you’re trying to sneak in any sort of salad/light-ish side dish for your Father’s Day cookout this weekend, these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese are the answer. I mean, whose Dad doesn’t like bacon?


And bacon isn’t all you get here. Prepare yourself for an explosion of garlic-laced balsamic flavor, meaty mushrooms and a sprinkling of tangy goat cheese. Serve it all over a bed of greens (I’m partial to something involving arugula) and the dish passes as a salad that the dudes will even be helping themselves to seconds of.

An overhead shot of a single serving of delicious Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, served over a bed of greens.

To start, I used the same marinade that I use for my Balsamic-Marinated Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. I love marinating veggies because they only need 30 minutes MAX before they’re ready to go. No waiting hours (or worse, overnight!) for them to be ready for the grill.

While the mushrooms are marinating, you’ll partially cook the bacon in the oven. Because mushrooms don’t take too long to grill up, we need to give the bacon a little head start. The partially cooked bacon gets wrapped around our sufficiently marinated Portobello’s, then we fire up the grill!

Once we have the mushrooms on the grill, this dish will be ready in a flash. The ‘shrooms will only need about 5-6 minutes on each side to cook (hence, why we precooked the bacon,) then we let them cool slightly, lay them over the bed of greens and sprinkle with that crumbly goat cheese. That’s it! And because there’s so much flavor packed into the Portobello’s, you really don’t even need a separate dressing.

A tray of delicious Portobello mushrooms.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of having some of these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese with all of the other delicious food we’ll be eating this weekend has me REAL excited for our trip up to our parents’.

In fact, I’m taking a tip from my gal Lee over at Fit Foodie Finds and hustling to get all my work done by end-of-day Thursday so I can take Friday off and spend it getting ready for our little road trip north later that afternoon. Anyone else here whose self-employed agree that every summer work week should only be four days?? Let’s start a movement! I’m hoping it helps me be more productive during the week if I have more strict guidelines of when I need to get things done by. The extra hours of sunlight don’t hurt either so I can get more photography done during the day!

Okay, but seriously, even if you’re not doing anything special this weekend, or if you want a quick, healthy meal to get you through the rest of this week, I highly recommend you get about making these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese.

A large plate of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, ready to be enjoyed on Father's Day!

Here’s to getting through the rest of the work week with delicious food on the horizon!!

A large serving platter of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese over a bed of mixed greens.
Print
Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Marinated Portobello mushrooms wrapped in bacon and topped with crumbly goat cheese. A hearty, delicious salad that even the guys in your life will love!

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 6 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 6 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed, cut into spears
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 pieces bacon
  • Goat cheese
  • Mixed greens, to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the mushrooms in a resealable plastic bag with garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Make sure the mushrooms are evenly coated with the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

  2. While the mushrooms are marinating, partially cook the bacon. Lay the bacon out on a large jelly roll pan line with aluminum foil. Place the pan in the oven and turn the oven on to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (so you will not be preheating the oven, it will preheat while the bacon is already inside.) Set the timer for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove the bacon from the oven and let cool slightly, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Remove the mushrooms from the refrigerator and wrap each one with a piece of the partially cooked bacon. 

  4. Heat your gas grill to medium, then put on the bacon-wrapped mushrooms spears. Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until the bacon is sufficiently cooked. Be careful when working the grill as the grease from the bacon may cause flare-ups. 

  5. Place cooked mushrooms spears over a bed of mixed greens and sprinkle with goat cheese, to serve. 

Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Pineapple Orgeat Fizz

Time to break out the summer cocktails and mocktails!

A refreshing Pineapple Orgeat Fizz that can be made with or without alcohol. The perfect drink for summer!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my spring drinks featuring rhubarb and cherries just as much as the next person, but as soon as Memorial Day passes, I start thinking about all things refreshing and summer-y. Like this Pineapple Orgeat Fizz! OMG you guys, I’m pretty excited about this. And not because it tastes just as good as a mocktail as it does a cocktail.


I was first introduced to the idea of a non-alcoholic Orgeat Fizz (which utilizes lemon instead of pineapple) when I was in my first trimester and still trying to hide the fact that I was pregnant from most of the general public. I had a networking get-together with some local blogger babes at Santa Barbara’s one and only tiki bar (yes, we have a neighborhood tiki bar, fancy that!) and quietly asked the bartender to whip me up his favorite mocktail. He proceeded to fill a sufficiently iced glass with fresh lemon juice, orgeat and soda water. So easy and soooo delicious.

A single glass of the refreshing Pineapple Orgeat Fizz.

Now I know some of you are wondering what the heck orgeat is, so let me fill you in. Orgeat is basically liquid marzipan. It’s a creamy white cocktail mixer that you’ll easily find at your local BevMo next to all of your other mixers, bitters, etc. (or on Amazon.) It’s perhaps most famously added as a discreet ingredient in mai tai’s, but can be used in so many other delicious ways as well, like these Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks.

So because of my recent summer obsession (and my desire to now post both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages due to my current preggo state) I decided to do a little riff on the classic Orgeat Fizz and completely “summer-fy” it!

One of my absolute favorite summer fruits is pineapple. I could probably easily eat an entire one by myself if I didn’t care about inflaming all of my taste buds from all of the acidity. I most definitely picked up two whole pineapples for our trip to Tahoe this weekend and I’m pretty sure I ate at least 75% of it by myself. Is it a valid excuse if I say it was because Baby Girl liked it?

Anywho, maybe it’s just been on my brain lately but I thought pineapple would be the perfect way to jazz up my Orgeat Fizz. And we all know that pineapple’s tropical tendencies make it a natural pairing for rum, so I knew right away how I was going to booze this Pineapple Orgeat Fizz up for all of you out there who can still imbibe (luckies!)

A landscape shot of two icy cold Pineapple Orgeat Fizzes. The perfect cocktail or mocktail for summer!

Aside from the aforementioned pineapple juice, orgeat and club soda, there’s just one more ingredient that really puts BOTH of these drinks (cocktail or mocktail) over the top, and that’s just a little squeeze of fresh lime juice, adding just the perfect touch of acidity.

Now if a Pineapple Orgeat Fizz isn’t the perfect summer drink, please tell me what is? I mean, I’m even going to venture out there and guess that children not yet of drinking age will be downing these at your next pool party. With all of that yummy flavor going on in there, who can blame them?

An overhead shot of two Pineapple Orgeat Fizzes.

I hope you all have some fun and exciting plans for this first “unofficial” summer weekend of June. We’ve got a fundraiser to attend on Saturday and a birthday party to attend on Sunday, so we’ll just be partying all weekend. And you can bet I’ll have a Pineapple Orgeat Fizz in hand!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

A refreshing Pineapple Orgeat Fizz that can be made with or without alcohol. The perfect drink for summer!
Print
Pineapple Orgeat Fizz
Prep Time
5 mins
 

A refreshing summer cocktail full of tropical pineapple, lime and almond flavors that's just as delicious with alcohol as it is without!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3/4 ounce orgeat
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 4 ounces club soda
  • Juice of 1/4 lime
  • 1 1/2 ounces of your favorite rum (optional)
  • Pineapple wedge to garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Stir to combine and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Pineapple Orgeat Fizz | CaliGirlCooking.com

Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables

It’s summer time and the cooking is easy!

A close-up view of Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables, featuring Frontier Co-Op's Oregano Leaf.
This post is sponsored by Frontier Co-Op.

At least that’s what we like to think, right? Memorial Day is behind us, which means we’re heading full-throttle into warm weather eats. And what better way to #SpiceUpSummer than with top-quality herbs and spices?

Today I’m partnering with Frontier Co-Op to bring you this incredibly fresh and delicious Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables, which I can guarantee is going to become one of your go-to meals over the next few months. It’s loaded with the best in-season flavor – Frontier’s own Oregano Leaf, tons of lemon juice and a touch of cayenne pepper – and since it uses just one dish, it’s incredibly easy to whip up on any night of the week with minimal cleanup. If you ask me, there’s no better way to #CookWithPurpose, one of Frontier’s main initiatives this summer.


I love working with Frontier Co-Op because of this very message. To them, it’s all about working together to create sustainable, high-quality products that bring people together through delicious food. And you know I’m all about that!

Beautiful Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables made with Frontier Co-Op's Oregano Leaf. The perfect one-dish meal for summer!

Herbs and spices are some of the best tools we can use to accomplish this. They add so much incredible flavor to a recipe for very few calories, which makes healthy, delicious cooking easier than ever. They’re also perfect for those hot summer days when you want to pull together a wholesome, nutritious meal with minimal time spent slaving away over the stove or in the kitchen.

This Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables most definitely falls into the quick-to-make/easy-to-cleanup/loads-of-flavor category. All it takes is a half-hour marinade for the fish, 20 minutes in the oven, and a tableful of hungry people.

An overhead shot of Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables featuring Frontier Co-Op's Oregano Leaf.

I opted for sea bass for this particular recipe because it looked the best at the store, but you can really use any firm white fish. Just make sure all of your filets are about the same thickness so they cook evenly in the oven.

The sea bass (or whichever fish you opt to use) gets marinated in a tasty blend of Frontier Co-Op Oregano Leaf, fresh garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. This imparts all of those delicious flavors throughout the filets, so you get all of the deliciousness in every single bite. Plus, since we’re working with fairly delicate fish, it only needs a half-hour marinade. Because when we’re trying to #CookWithPurpose, we don’t want to waste away an entire evening waiting for our dinner to be ready!

Once you have the sea bass part of your Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables ready to go, prepping the vegetables is easy. Feel free to use your creative license here, but I opted for zucchini, red baby potatoes and fresh corn. Oh, and shallots, because shallots make everything better. The “do” for these is even easier than the marinade for the fish. We’re bathing our veggies in a simple dressing of olive oil, more oregano, salt and pepper. It really doesn’t take much when we have all of those amazing flavors going on with our fish.

We give the vegetables a little head start in the oven to make sure they have time to cook all the way through, then we add the sea bass for the last 12-15 minutes. It won’t take long for all of the delicious smells from the Oregano Leaf and lemon juice to start wafting through the house, so it’s a good thing you won’t have to wait too long before enjoying!

Individually plated Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables featuring Frontier Co-Op's Oregano Leaf.

What are your favorite warm weather recipes featuring herbs and spices? How are you going to #SpiceUpSummer this year?

Beautiful Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables made with Frontier Co-Op's Oregano Leaf. The perfect one-dish meal for summer!
Print
Mediterranean Sea Bass over Summer Roasted Vegetables
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 

The perfect, healthy, one-dish meal featuring fresh sea bass and summer's best produce, with tons of zesty Mediterranean flavor.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the fish:
  • 4 pieces of sea bass filet (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Frontier Co-Op Oregano Leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Frontier Co-Op Cayenne
For the vegetables:
  • 4 baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchini, cut into thin disks
  • 3 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut off the cob
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Frontier Co-Op Oregano Leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine sea bass and all other marinade ingredients in a large, resealable plastic bag, making sure the marinade covers the fish fairly evenly. Place bag in refrigerator to marinate for about 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

  3. Next, prep the vegetables. Toss all vegetable ingredients together in a large casserole dish. Once oven is preheated, place vegetables in for 5-10 minutes.

  4. Remove vegetables from oven (do not turn off oven) and place the marinated sea bass filets over top. Return casserole dish to the oven and bake for another 12-15 minutes, or until the sea bass is cooked through. Serve immediately.

Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini

Because no good barbecue ever started without a delicious appetizer!

A pile of Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini to make for your next get-together.

And one that’s loaded with fresh basil, sweet cherries and creamy ricotta cheese. Yea, I’m pretty sure these Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini are going to be the only appetizer you want to serve at get-togethers for as long as you can get your hands on the fresh cherries that are loading Farmer’s Markets and grocery stores right now.


I warned you on Friday that I’m having a bit of cherry-fever right now, so bear with me as I get just one more cherry-based recipe out of my system. I mean, don’t you want something delicious to snack on while you sip on your equally delicious Cherry Bourbon Breezes this afternoon?

We’re up in Tahoe enjoying one more full day before heading home, and it’s my hubby’s birthday! Big plans for the day include relaxing in the sun, most likely doing some sort of outdoor activity and eating lots and lots of food. I may even need to make a trip to the store so we can whip up some Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini! What are you up to today?

Rows upon rows of delicious Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini, the perfect appetizer for your next get-together.

I hope you have lots of great food on the menu. Having an excuse to get a bunch of friends together and eat all day is one of my favorite things about long weekends. Bonus if you can enjoy some time outdoors while the weather is this beautiful! Is it just me or does getting out in the fresh air and sunshine really do a body good? I think I took it for granted for so long because of the multi-year drought we’d been suffering through in California. We really had no bad weather days, and TBH I was missing it! But that all changed this past year and we’ve gotten quite a bit of rain and crummy weather, which is definitely helping us get out of the drought but also made me appreciate the nice weather more!

So I hope you take your party outside today and whip up some Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini in addition to all of the other delicious things you’ll be making. Because they are too good not to!

I was going back and forth between making a watermelon caprese or cherry salsa, but since I just shared this Spicy Homemade Salsa and I already have this summery Hazelnut Pesto Caprese Couscous in the lineup, I decided to mix it up and make a savory-sweet crostini. After all, handheld foods are the best foods, especially when cooking for a casual crowd!

A beautiful display of Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini, ready to be enjoyed by all of your dinner party guests!

The two very great things about these Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini are that (a) you can prep the time-consuming stuff in advance and (b) once that stuff is prepped the recipe comes together in a flash.

And when I talk about time-consuming…It’s really not that bad folks. All I’m referring to is toasting the crostini and pitting the cherries. We can all handle that, right?

Note: On pitting cherries, you need no fancy equipment whatsoever, just a handy straw! Simply poke the straw through the center of the cherry and the pit should pop right out the other end. Easy!

When I made this recipe, I toasted my crostini first thing in the morning and then went back and added the toppings right before I wanted to serve it. I also made the cherry topping in the morning and stored it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it.

But can we just talk about this cherry topping for a second? Because I was sort of winging it but am SO happy with the way it turned out. And it’s soooo easy. All it consists of are the cherries, lemon zest, a shallot and balsamic vinegar. Nothing more, nothing less. Now I think that’s something we can all handle, am I right?

A close-up shot of a piece of Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini. You won't be able to stop eating these!

Once you have your toasted crostini and you’re ready to serve, slather each piece with some creamy ricotta and then sprinkle on a light dusting of salt and pepper.

Next, top each crostini with a fairly generous scoop of the cherry topping.

Finally, sprinkle on some chopped fresh basil. All ready to go!

I’m not going to lie, I ate about five of these crostini for lunch when I made them and then proceeded to eat about eight more that night with dinner. I could not stop! I’m pretty sure if you give these a shot you’ll be in the same boat as me, so try your best to share 😉

Rows of Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini ready to be consumed at your next cookout!

I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with fun, food and friends!

Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

With fresh cherries and basil gracing ricotta-smothered bread slices, these fresh, vibrant crostini will help you welcome in summer with ease.

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 16 ounces fresh cherries, pitted and diced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 10 ounces ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Turn the broiler in your oven on high. Cover a cookie sheet or large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and place as many baguette slices as you can on it. Brush each slice (on both sides) with olive oil and place under broiler. Broil on high for 2-4 minutes each side (keep a close eye on them as they can go from perfectly toasted to burnt in a matter of seconds!) then remove and let cool. 

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cherries, shallot, lemon zest and balsamic vinegar. 

  3. Once your crostini are cool, start generously spreading ricotta on each piece, then lightly sprinkle on salt and pepper.

  4. Place a big spoonful (about a tablespoon and a half depending on the size of your slices) of the cherry topping on top of each piece, then sprinkle on the basil. 

Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini | CaliGirlCooking.com