Friday, August 27, 2010

Catching up...

I’ve got quite a bit of backlog to catch up on. This is an appetizer I made while ignoring the fact that I wasn’t blogging.

Watermelon-Goat Cheese Bites

(I know it sounds weird. Trust me on this one…)

Attempt #1:

Doesn’t this look like raw meat? Now I like raw meat as much as the next guy (probably more), but it’s not exactly the look I was going for in my watermelon dish. Not surprisingly, this is not the final version of this recipe.

A slice of goat cheese sandwiched by round slices of watermelon with some pureed mint in olive oil and chopped macadamia nuts. The flavors worked. Honestly. I was skeptical too, but that wasn’t the problem. What didn’t work was the distribution of textures. And having to make that decision, “do I eat this in one bite and look like a pig, or two bites and have watermelon juice running down my face?”

Back to the drawing board.

Attempt #2:

Finely chop the macadamia nuts in the food processor and toast them in a dry frying pan. Don’t freak out when the nuts start to turn into little sticky globules. Keep stirring and separating until they finally start to return to their chopped state. They will brown fairly quickly once their oils are released.

Cut small cubes of watermelon. Make equal sized balls of goat cheese by rolling them in your hands. The heat from your hands will quickly melt the cheese, so act fast. (These will be one-biters, so keep that in mind when making the pieces.)

Pick one small mint leaf for each piece of watermelon.

To assemble, roll each goat cheese ball in the toasted macadamia nuts. Thread cheese, then a mint leaf, and lastly a cube of watermelon onto a small skewer or toothpick. Line them all up on a plate and drizzle with olive oil. Really yummy olive oil is key here. You really taste it because there aren’t a lot of competing flavors. If you don’t like the taste of your everyday olive oil a lot, get a nice bottle to use just for finishing. I love my Costco olive oil for cooking, but I tried it in my first attempt on this recipe and realized I had to break out my “good” bottle for the second attempt. The difference is amazing.

When you bite into these, the creaminess of the cheese melts in your mouth followed by the crispiness of the watermelon and the subtle nut and mint flavors. Try it…they’ll make you a believer.

The finished product:

These little bites have that “wow” factor but are very simple to make. It’s a fun and unique appetizer for a summer day.


  1. Wow - they look delcious! What brand of olive oil is your "good" oil?

  2. Annie,
    My good olive oil is Ceppo Antico EVOO. It's imported from Italy (obviously), but I got it at a winery in Washington. I found it online at the link below. It's $25/bottle (plus $10 shipping), but SO worth it. I could drink it.

  3. I tried these on Sunday. They were a hit! Thanks for an easy and tasty appetizer.