Muggy, extreme heat. Welcome to the summer in the Midwest this year. So hot you could bake a pie on the street, so muggy that you could skip the sauna and just go out on the deck instead. Everyday I wake up wanting just a cool glass of water (or stand in front of the freezer) until I have to face the shock of traversing the lawn to my car. So, what does one do when trying to think of an appetizer while stuck in the heat? Think cool, fresh, juicy watermelons.
For a co-worker’s baby shower, I needed a recipe idea. I rummaged through cookbook pages and my memory to try and come up with anything that would be cute and beat the heat. For the shower my parameters were: mini, not baked, anything that could be served cold, and something that would not melt. Cooking dilemma. As the heat rose outside and inside all that occupied my mind was the want for something cool and refreshing. Then I had I found it…super-easy watermelon, tomato, & basil skewers. To make this appetizer baby shower ready, I decided to scale them down to perfect little bite-size proportions. They were cute, yummy, and refreshing. I couldn’t wait to share them with the rest of the work team…and eat a few mouthfuls of watermelon while I was at it.
Prep Time: Approx. 20 minutes
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 32 small basil leaves (I used large basil leaves and tore them)
- 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- toothpicks or small skewers (I used bamboo picks)
Combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
Starting with the tomato half, push the tomato onto the skewer. Then skewer a basil leaf, then a watermelon cube. Continue doing the same until you have the desired # of skewers complete (approx. 32)
Drizzle the skewers with the reserved balsamic syrup and then the olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve immediately.
Source: Modified from – The Food Network from the show The Everyday Italian
The Fresh Fridge Tip: When spiking the tomatoes, don’t spike exactly through the center because then all the insides will start to gush out. Instead, spike it slightly at an angle.