This appetizer uses watermelon rind to create an “agrodolce,” the Italian name for a sweet-and-sour mixture with a sticky consistency. Then the warm agrodolce is dolloped on pieces of toasted French bread spread with plenty of creamy goat cheese. Each piece ends up as a tasty tidbit – bruschetta – where the agrodolce and goat cheese tastes blend and complement each other.
12 pieces; 6-12 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups watermelon rind, green skin removed*, chopped into ½ -inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup tightly packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
12 slices toasted baguette (French bread)
14-ounce package spreadable goat cheese
Freshly chopped basil for garnish, optional
For the watermelon-rind mixture (agrodolce) part of the bruschetta topping
In a medium-large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add watermelon rind and onion; stirring regularly, cook 10-12 minutes or until softened.
Add garlic, salt, and pepper; stir and cook 3-5 minutes more. Add red-wine vinegar, brown sugar, and basil; stir to combine.
Cook mixture over medium heat 15-20 minutes more, or until almost all the liquid is absorbed.
(Can be made the day before and warmed just before creating the bruschetta)
To complete and serve the bruschetta
Spread each of the 12 toasted baguette slices with 1/12 of the goat cheese.
Divide the warm watermelon rind mixture (agrodolce) into roughly 12 parts. Spoon each part onto the goat cheese on each baguette slice. If desired, top with chopped basil.
*One of easiest ways to remove the green outside part of the rind is with a vegetable peeler; a Y-shaped peeler works especially well. Leaving some light green peel on one side and just a bit of the red meat on the other side of the rind is fine, plus it will add a little additional color to the agrodolce.
–Slightly adapted from a recipe by Shannon Kohn of Summerville, South Carolina. Her recipe won a recipe contest sponsored by watermelon.org, the website of The National Watermelon Promotion Board; used with permission.
Recipe tested by Ellen Ficklen; email questions to email@example.com