I was planning a summer dinner party for my favorite client, and I thought an amuse-bouche (a small bite often served between the appetizer and entree) would be fun. The idea I came up with was marinating watermelon in toasted sesame oil and sherry vinegar with mint. Serving logistics prevented serving the amuse-bouche, so instead I used the watermelon as a tasty garnish on the plate. It was a hit. You could also add some sliced red onion, goat cheese and fresh mint to make it a salad.
Makes 6 servings
12 to 24 1/2-inch watermelon balls
2 sprigs fresh mint, bruised
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (available in the Asian food section)
Coarse sea salt
Combine all ingredients except salt in a zippered bag, gently toss to coat and refrigerate 1 to 3 hours. Toss gently once or twice more.
For an amuse-bouche, spear melon balls on a cocktail fork or short bamboo skewer and serve on a small plate. For garnish, arrange 3 or 4 balls on the plate before serving. In both cases, sprinkle a few crystals of sea salt on the melon just before serving.