Rocky Ford Cantaloupe & Capicola Bites with basil and balsamic

Love or hate summer, you can’t deny that it produces some of the best fruit of the year. We go through melons like monkeys eat bananas around here and when given the chance to try out Fontera Rocky Ford Cantaloupes, I jumped at it. I had actually never had a Rocky Ford before but had heard of their supreme sweetness. At first bite we were all astounded by the candy like melon. They had the exact same flavor, color and texture as you average cantaloupe but the flavor and sweetness is intensified making this the best cantaloupe I’ve ever had. Seriously, although in a good year a Texas cantaloupe comes pretty close.

Grown only in Colorado, Rocky Ford Cantaloupes are sweet and juicy thanks to the perfect formula of hot days, cool nights and high elevation.  And Frontera Produce is the only grower to provide the original “Valley Gold” variety of this summertime melon, which is one of the sweetest.  Rocky Fords are picked and shipped on the same day from Holly, Colorado, meaning these beauties arrive to you fresher than ever.

I enjoyed Rocky Fords because not only was it super fresh but it’s sweetness didn’t call for adding sugar or honey when using it in recipes. Mia probably ate an entire one herself leaving one for me to use in something extraordinary and I mean extraordinary. When you have something as sweet as these cantaloupes it calls for a salty pairing like these cantaloupe capicola bites with basil and balsamic reduction. In the last 4 days I have made this 3 times and everyone keeps asking for more.

Before we get to the recipe, Frontera Produce and ISMS is giving you a chance to win a case of these amazingly delicious Rocky Ford Cantaloupes (retail $3 a cantaloupe) shipped directly from the farm to you. To enter, leave a comment telling us what you plan to do with these tasty summer cantaloupes if you win. One winner will be chosen Monday, September 5, 2011. The winner will be notified by e-mail and announced on Facebook. Good luck! The giveaway is now closed and the winner is Kristi! Thanks everyone for playing.

Rocky Ford Cantaloupe & Capicola Bites with Basil & Balsamic Reduction makes 24

  • 1 pound (about 24 slices) regular capicola*, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Frontera Rocky Ford Cantaloupe
  • 3/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 12 basil leaves
*regular capicola is preferd over spicy

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place capicola slices in a mini muffin tin. Press in firmly to form a cup. Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly crispy.
While the capicola is baking, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil in a saucepan. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 8 minutes until the vinegar has reduced by half creating a sweet and tangy syrup.
Next, halve a cantaloupe and deseed. Cut the half in quarters, cut the rind away and dice the cantaloupe in small cubes.
Chiffonade the basil by stacking the leaves on top of each other and rolling into a cigar shape. Then cut the leaves into thin slices.
Once the capicola is cooked into little bowls and the balsamic has reduced, assemble the cantaloupe and capicola bites. Place the capicola on a serving plate and fill the capicola bowls with 3 to 5 cubes of cantaloupe. Next drizzle the balsamic reduction over the capicola cantaloupe bowls with a spoon. Finish by garnishing each piece with basil. The perfect combination of sweet and salty that will amazing for any appetizer or a delightful snack. Enjoy.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the product mentioned above for free for review purposes from Frontera Produce. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. In accordance to FTC 16 CFR, Part 255

    Comments

  • Laurie @SimplyScratch


    I wanna make these cups! You had me at capicola!! <3

  • mark


    How do you come up with stuff? Don’t think I can make anything but these! Looks delish, doll!

  • Leigh


    Love this! I would also make your cantaloupe and mint granita. We used it when our little girl was teething and still use it today as a treat! I like to put a little rum in mine :)

  • Linda


    Making these if I win!

  • Susanna


    Sorbet! Melon with procuitto. More sorbet! Eating it plain for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! We love cantaloupe!

  • marla


    Such a fun & generous giveaway. These sweet/savory cups look AMAZING. Love prosciutto :)

  • carly {carlyklock}


    I don’t love cantaloupe on it’s own, but I LOVE prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe. I love how this recipe takes that up a notch.

    YUMMY.

  • Kristi


    I have a cantaloupe sherbet recipe that is fantastic; that’s what I would do!

  • Malia


    I’d probably make these cups! They look fantastic! or maybe I’d make a smoothie, or a sorbet, or a sherbet…the possibilities are endless…=)

  • Ali B


    If I won these cantaloupes I would make this antipasto I saw in a recipe book – proscioutto with little cantaloupe melon balls!

  • Cathy


    I make a cantaloupe salsa that we serve on breakfast burritos–filled with sausage, egg, cheese and black beans

  • Angelcia


    I would make these and/or add them to an arugula salad with some blue cheese, pine nuts and homemade balsamic vinagrette. Yummy!!!!!

  • Sarah


    Make these! They look like the perfect party appetizer!

  • Tabitha


    I loved this recipe, and the praise for the Rocky Ford Cantaloupes, but thought you might also like to know that they are named Rocky Ford Cantaloupes because of Rocky Ford, Colorado

  • Stella


    nothing beats a delicious sweet melon slice simply scooped with a spoon with a sprinkling of salt like my grandmother taught me.

  • Verucia


    I am getting ready to make this recipe and could only find dried capicola in the deli. Do you think that will work as well? The only regular capicola the store had was the spicy. I have been enjoying your recipes!

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