Simple, sophisticated, refreshing and oh, so good! These Jalapeno Basil Melon Bites will make you look at watermelon a whole new way!
In North Carolina, August brings with it hot temperatures, evening thunderstorms and a bounty of fresh produce at the local Farmer’s Market. Some people like to go shopping at the mall.
Me? Well, I love strolling down the aisles of the N.C. State Farmer’s Market to see what some hard working farmer harvested just a few hours ago. Without fail, I can always count on the freshest produce, being offered by a friendly face!
Unlike the local grocery store, the produce at the Farmer’s Market is seasonal. What’s growing in the garden is what you’re going to get. In the Spring, the market offered a bounty of peaches. In late May and early June, you can count on red, ripe strawberries.
But, one of my favorite times at the market is when the fresh, local watermelons arrive. Red, juicy and sweet, these melons are always perfect for a family picnic or a sweet Sunday afternoon snack.
Simple, right? Just slice and eat. But, sometimes, you need something that’s a little more daring.
Watermelon. Jalapeno. Basil. Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.
This little appetizer is perfect for your next garden party, bridal shower or for passing around to the delight of your dinner guests.
Like I said, “Simple, sophisticated, refreshing and oh, so good! These Jalapeno Basil Melon Bites will make you look at watermelon a whole new way!”Print
Seared Watermelon with Basil, Jalapeno Balsamic Reduction
Simple, yet sophisticated. This appetizer of sweet, summer watermelon, drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction made with fresh basil, jalapenos and a hint of maple syrup.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 16 minutes
- Total Time: 26 minutes
- Yield: 8 appetizer size servings
- 1/8 Seedless Watermelon (Remove rind and cut into sixteen 1/4″ x 2″ pieces (approximate size))
- 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 16 Leaves Fresh Basil (Washed and dried. Medium to larger sized leaves are best)
- 1/3 cup Jalapeno Basil Balsamic Vinegar Reduction (Recipe can be found on AtMemesTable.com; Or, you can substitute purchased balsamic vinegar reduction (available at Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s, amongst other places))
- Preheat heavy frying pan on medium high. Once preheated, add oil and let heat for about 2 minutes, being careful to check for overheating or smoking.
- Add pieces of melon and sear for 8 minutes (looking for a speckled, brown charring); Carefully flip and cook on the other side. Remove to a plate for cooling.
- Plate by placing one piece of seared melon on a fresh basil leaf, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve. Can garnish with basil flowers or basil chiffonade, if desired.
Basil Jalapeno Balsamic Reduction
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: Makes about 1/2 cup of balsamic reduction
- 1 cup Fresh Basil Leaves (large stems removed)
- 1 medium Fresh Jalapeno, chopped (de-seed, if less heat is desired)
- 1 TB Maple Syrup ((Can use coconut sugar or other type of sweetener if desired))
- 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- Combine all ingredients in jar of blender and blend on high until completely combined.
- If a smoother final product is desired, strain liquid through a cheesecloth. Pour liquid into a medium sauce pan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, for about 35 – 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool. The sauce will thicken upon cooling.