Summertime in Telluride means spending time at the Farmer’s Market each Friday. This week we were cooking for a party and decided that appetizers made from whatever we could find at the local Farmer’s Market would give us a fun theme. Before we knew it, we had found some beautiful beets, cantaloupe you could smell from across the street, a few tomatoes and a watermelon. Now it was time to turn those fresh fruits and vegetables into a great party.
Watermelon Cubes with Balsamic
Cut the watermelon into half inch cubes and drizzle with high quality aged balsamic vinegar.
Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese
1 lb beets
2 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces goat cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss whole beets in olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish so that they fit snugly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour or until a paring knife meets little resistance when poked into a beet.
Hold a beet in a paper towel in one hand and using another paper towel in your other hand, rub the skin off the cooked beets. Slice the beets into thin wedges. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and goat cheese.
Melon and Prosciutto
You can either cut the melon into thin slices and wrap it with prosciutto or you can cut the melon into cubes and lay them out on a plate and curl the prosciutto over the top. Sprinkle with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
Fresh Sliced Tomatoes
Tomato season is here and there are some great ones out there. Be sure to look for tomatoes that have firm skin and don’t have blemishes or cracks. And, most important, make sure you store your tomatoes at room temperature and away from direct sun light. Storing tomatoes in the fridge can destroy the sugars in the tomato and lead to a mealy texture.
For our appetizer party, we wanted the flavor of the tomato to stand out. We sliced them, drizzled them with olive oil and salt and pepper. Finally, we tore up some fresh basil leaves and scattered them on the slices.