Tomato, Watermelon and Basil Skewers

Everyone seems to love this simple combination of clean, fresh flavors. If watermelon is not in season you can substitute cantaloupe, but for a burst of pure flavor that really plays off the herbal flavor of the tomatoes, you can’t beat watermelon. Stacking the skewers vertically and serving them upright looks especially elegant.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1  4- to 5-pound seedless watermelon
60  small basil leaves (or torn larger leaves)
16  cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 coarse or kosher {salt}
16  (8-inch) Bamboo Skewers
Combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Cut the top and bottom off the watermelon, then make 4 straight cuts down the sides so you have a cube of rindless watermelon. Cut the cube into 1½-inch slices, then cut the slices into 1½-inch cubes.

Assemble the skewers by pushing a basil leaf to the end of one skewer. Then skewer a cube of watermelon, then a tomato half. Continue with another watermelon cube, basil leaf, and tomato half, ending with a basil leaf. Repeat to make 15 more skewers.

Drizzle the skewers with the reserved balsamic syrup and the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Serve.

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 5 min

Servings: 6 to 8 servings

Recipe By: Giada De Laurentiis

From:  Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites
Used with permission of Clarkson Potter