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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Watermelon: A new slice on an old favorite

                   Sweet, salty and fresh. This is a huge favorite with anyone who tastes it.

What goes together better than watermelon and the 4th of July? I can't think of a thing but if you are looking for a more 'adult' way of serving this refreshing and classic fruit for the holiday, try this:

Cut the watermelon into slices and then into wedges and arrange on a serving platter.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar or a balsamic vinegar reduction* over the melon.
Crumble Feta cheese over the melon.
Cut fresh basil leaves into thin strips and sprinkle over the feta & melon.

Vanilla Fig Balsamic Vinegar
Recipe Notes:
  • I used balsamic vinegar that I brought back from a trip to the Columbia Valley earlier in the year: California Napa Valley Vanilla Fig Balsamic Vinegar. About $16 
  • If you want to make your own balsamic reduction (basically a syrup made from vinegar): Pour 1 cup (or more) vinegar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a high simmer. Cook until reduced to the desired syrupy consistency. I also like to add a TBSP of brown sugar to the syrup about ½ way though the process for flavor. Here's the only trick: Watch carefully as it begins to thicken. This scorches easily, ruining the product. Use at room temperature.
  • I have not tried it, but you might take a few dried figs, a tsp of good vanilla and some balsamic vinegar and process them in a food processor or blender. This might give you a slightly thicker and wonderfully flavored product without reduction. Not thick enough? Cook it down a little.

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