Two Years Ago: Tomatoes!
We were recently invited to a party and volunteered to bring a couple of appetizers, this being one of them. It was one of the hits of the party, and why not - cool, juicy, sweet and herbal all at the same time. I hadn't ever really considered the combination of tomatoes and watermelon together, but they worked really well and the coarse salt and balsamic syrup tied it all together.
If you're having a picnic this summer or any other type of get-together, this would be a great addition. It takes a few minutes to cut up the watermelon and assemble the skewers but it's much more fun served that way than as a salad. If you assemble the skewers earlier in the day, be sure to refrigerate them so the basil doesn't wilt.
Note that the balsamic syrup needs to be made at least a half hour in advance to give it time to cool.
The original recipe called for drizzling the balsamic syrup on the skewers right before serving, but I noticed that everyone took a skewer and drizzled more syrup directly on it anyway so why not serve the syrup on the side? That way everyone can have it however they want.
Tomato, Watermelon and Basil Skewers
Makes 16 appetizer skewers
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 (4-5 lb) watermelon, cut into 32 1” cubes
48 small basil leaves (or torn larger leaves)
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
Coarse kosher salt
Special equipment: 16 small (5-6”) skewers
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.
Push one watermelon piece onto a skewer, followed by a basil leaf, a tomato half (cut side up), another basil leaf, a second watermelon piece, another basil leaf, and a second tomato half. Continue with the remaining skewers – each should have two watermelon pieces, two tomato halves, and three basil leaves. Place on a platter and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Put the balsamic syrup in a small bowl with a spoon on the platter to allow guests to drizzle their own skewers as desired.