With an elegant presentation, these easy-to-grab appetizers will be a hit at your next party. Mint, cucumber, olives and marinated feta create a flavorful skewer.
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into 24 (1/2-inch) cubes
24 (6-inch) wooden skewers
24 fresh mint leaves
12 pitted green olives, halved
1/4 large English cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
How to Make It
Combine fennel seeds, orange zest and juice, and pepper. Gently stir in the feta and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or up to 3 hours in the refrigerator. (Marinate overnight to save time.)
To assemble: Place 1 mint leaf on a skewer, about 3/4 inch up; add 1 olive half and 1 cucumber chunk. Place 1 cube of feta on the end. These can be made several hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before serving.
I made 100 of these skewers for a baby shower -- I liked that they were a pre-assembled single bite that people didn't have to dip or spread. 6" skewers would be overkill. I used plastic cocktail picks (longer than a toothpick, between 3-4") and it was perfect. The flavor is good, if you could get a whole toothpick into your mouth before the cheese fell off. Because feta is crumbly, cutting it down to 1" squares (then stabbing a skewer in it) makes it fall apart completely. We struggled to get 100 that held together, then a lot of those fell apart when the guest tried to pick them up. The same recipe with fresh mozzarella might work really well -- feta obviously has a different flavor, but the marinade is quite strong so it may still have the same overall effect (without falling apart!). I may try it again with a different cheese.
This recipe was a crowd pleaser! I was told it was one of the best appetizers I have ever made. It really is an elegant presentation and is such an interesting combination of flavors. I ran short on time so had to marinate for only an hour at room temperature and thought that the cheese would have been better if it was cold from the three hour refrigerator marinade method. It was just delicious!
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