Saturday, May 21, 2011

Watermelon Balsamic Appetizer - Simple Saturday

Sometimes the best things happen when you're not trying so hard. These Watermelon Cubes with Balsamic Glaze came about from playing with my food and left-over watermelon slices.
Watermelon Balsamic Cubes

They are just the right beginning to a meal (amuse bouche), a palate cleanser between courses or a unique addition to a dessert/cheese tray.

A while back, I was serving a 6 course meal to a "dinner client" for a fund raiser. They had chosen several hardy courses that included a creamy corn soup, scallops with chips, and braised short ribs with potatoes. I knew they really needed something fresh, light and bright in the middle of all that to re-set the taste buds and moisturize the bite.
These Watermelon Balsamic Cubes were just the right size, continued the somewhat elegance of the night and yet gave it a casual, down-home tasty treat.Since that night, I've served these to kids on picnics and lined up on trays for July 4th picnic shooters. Their simplicity gives them style, yet they are definitely perfect for a Simple Saturday.
Recipe: Watermelon Balsamic Cubes

Seedless Watermelon cut into 1x1 inch cubes
1/4 cup (more or less) Balsamic Creme or home-made Balsamic Reduction Syrup
Mint or Basil leaves for garnish.

1) After trimming and cutting watermelon into 1x1 inch cubes, use a small melon baller to carve out the center of each cube. Make sure to leave the sides and bottoms in tact to hold the syrup inside.2) Turn the cubes over on a paper towel to drain for at least 20 minutes. At this point you can also wrap lightly with plastic wrap and hold in the refrigerator til needed for several hours.3) When ready to serve, add just a few drops of Balsamic Reduction Syrup or Balsamic Creme to the center and place each cube on top of a mint or basil leaf.
These little bites are full of natural sweet juices mixed with a sour tang from the Balsamic intensity. Make plenty - they go fast and some of them don't make it out of the kitchen (if you're like me :D )

24 comments:

Cowgirl Chef said...

OMG, these sound sooo good, and I like that they're so easy. I can do a balsamic reduction in a snap, but I'm curious about balsamic creme - what is it, exactly? I just saw watermelons last week, so I'm ready, baby! xx

~ Chef Louise said...

i was just thinking about this combo the other day... i love the flavor combo. these are cute for a bbq, but i have catering flashbacks thinking about making these for 500 people- yikes!
have a great sunday

Michael / South Bay Foodies said...

Nice. These WILL be on the menu this summer for any cook outs or BBQs that I do!

Valentina said...

Cathy, these are beautiful and adorable! And I sure absolutely delicious! I will definitely try these!

Mika said...

You are right, sometimes we try to put together as many ingredients as possible to make something delicious and we don't understand that sometimes the simplest dish is the best...I love this!!!

Sara said...

These are such a fun way to serve a little something different at a party. They look really good, and I am going to try them! Thanks for stopping by my blog, I made the kiwi pops today, the kids LOVED them.. and so did I ;0)

The Sentimental Suitcase said...

Oh Cathy these look so good!!!

XO

Sam

The Cilantropist said...

Cathy these little bites are just beautiful and totally inspired. I can only imagine how fabulous they taste! Saw them on TheKitchn today, congrats!

Dragana said...

Very elegant! Great idea that I'll be making soon.

kqr said...

LOVE THIS IDEA. HOWEVER I NEED THE RECIPE FOR THE HOMEMADE BALSAMIC SYRUP. I'M IN NICARAGUA AND DON'T GET A LOT OF GOOD INGREDIENTS HERE BUT I DO GET BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND LOTS OF FRESH WATERMELON.

Cathy @ ShowFoodChef said...

KQR - thx for stopping by. To make the syrup, just boil about 3oz of balsamic vinegar with 1 tbls of sugar or honey in a saucepan until it has reduced to a syrup. It will be very fragrant and strong, don't stand too close over the pan. It's ready when the syrup can coat the back of a wooden spoon. It also thickens a little as it cools. It would take about 8-10 minutes, usually. :D Balsamic reduction syrup is really good drizzled over grilled vegetables too. enjoy

Lisa Fountain said...

These are just beautiful! I can't wait to have a dinner party so I can try them out. Thanks for sharing, and for your lovely pictures.

Jen said...

I just love this idea! And the flavors compliment each other so well! I love it!

Tinijocaro said...

I make a salad with Watermelon, balsamic vin, and avocado that is delicious. Trying to figure out a way to add the avocado to this one.

Rosemaryandthegoat said...

I will definitely be making these for my next party I cater. -- Sherry aka www.rosemaryandthegoat.com

I've decided to add a tiny pearl ball of mozzarella to top and maybe insert a tiny lemon basil leaf under the cheese.

Creatrish said...

très très bon! merci! http://creatrish.blogspot.com/2011/09/holiday-day-63.html

Anonymous said...

I made these for a party last night. Even thought the balsamic creme was so thick it would barely pour, it quickly bled into the surrounding watermelon and did not look as pretty as your photo. They were still delicious, but how thick was your balsamic glaze or did you take the photo immediately after adding the balsamic? (I did drain the watermelon cubes upside down first according to the recipe.)

Cathy @ ShowFoodChef said...

Anonymous: Thx for stopping by. Maybe..your scoop-out was a little deep, or sometimes the kind of watermelon (older can be a little less dense?)I'm glad they tasted good, but sorry they didn't present as well. I prob took the pic pretty close to making, but I've served these in catering on tray pass and on buffet without a problem. My balsamic syrup was very thick and I used only a tiny drop of it, but it sounds like yours was also. I hope it works out better next time.

Anonymous said...

With Seaport Oil & Vinegars' Traditional Balsamic (aged over 18 years), you do not have to add any sugar and it is thick enough to make a wonderful reduction. I am going to try these soon, thanks for a wonderful idea!

Anonymous said...

Ooow I'm so going to make these. Cathy quick a recepie on how to make diner friends please.

AnnMarie said...

I love grilled watermelon and balsamic reduction on a arugula salad. So I know these will be delious. Thanks for the new idea .

Leivinvita said...

What a nice idea Cathy! I'm happy to know you, your blog is beatiful :)
Valentina

SD said...

This seems so easy and so different ! I would love to try this out at home, although I am not sure whether seed-less watermelon is manageable. I so don't like spending so much time taking then out.

Anonymous said...

A number of years ago we had a wonderful chef come to our home to learn some new cooking techniques and experience some new flavors. This is one of his dishes, but it was finished goats cheese that he thinned a bit with cream and then drizzled it over the watermelon cube. The explosion of flavors on your tongue was amazing!