Watermelon Cubes with Feta, Mint and Passionfruit drizzle

Drizzling the Passion Fruit Syrup Mixture over the Feta and Mint
(if you have a hard time finding Passion Fruit then just use a 
mixture of honey and lime juice.)

A 1/8 teaspoon works well to scoop out the centers of the cubes

 A work in progress




The Feta Cheese I like

 Passion Fruit Syrup we found locally in Santa Barbara
at Indo-China Market.  My favorite was the pure
Passion Fruit Syrup from Hawaii.  There are multiple
sources on-line.  If you are unable to find the passion fruit syrup
you may substitute a mixture of honey and lime juice.



 When I was recipe testing the other day with a group of friends we were trying to come up with the name for this summer hors d'oeuvres.  We came up with:  Watermelon Towers, Summer Passion, Watermelon Mint Feta Cubes and a few others.  I finally settled on Watermelon Passion but I'm not sure if that is the best name.  I'd love any feedback on a great name for this delicious and healthy hors d'oeuvres.

If you aren't in the mood to cut out all the little watermelon cubes than just make a big giant watermelon salad with the same ingredients.  In fact this recipe was inspired by the watermelon salad my friend, Tina Grunzweig, made for a lovely lunch last summer.  I believe Tina made a lime simple syrup for her salad.  I happened to have passion fruit syrup that my friend, Christie, brought back as a gift when she was in Hawaii.  (Passion fruit is known as Lilikoi in Hawaii.)  I mixed the passion fruit with lime juice and that was one of those lightbulb moments that really makes this recipe over the top.  There are a number of sources for Passion Fruit Syrup on-line.  Just google "passion fruit syrup" or you can make your own with sugar and passion fruit juice.  

You may ask yourself if you can make the recipe without the passion fruit drizzle.  It is certainly still good without it.  But when we added it during the testing everyones eyes lit up.  You could see on their faces the difference in taste.  Part of my pleasure in cooking is trying to find that one thing that makes someone's eyes light up when they taste it.  That look on their face that signifies how delicious something is.  The thing that makes it go from good to great.  Often it is something small and simple that makes all the difference (i.e the mint on the proscuitto and melon, lemon, lime and orange zest on the grilled tiger prawns, plochman's mustard.)  The passion fruit is one of those difference makers.

You can buy a miniature melon baller if you'd like to hollow out the watermelon cubes, but I was trying to find an everyday kitchen tool that would work and I found an 1/8 teaspoon worked really well.  (You know I'm not a big gadget fan and I'd rather keep to some basic essentials.)

We tried a variety of watermelons from the small seedless watermelons and the large ones.  We were able to get more cubes from the larger watermelons, so I recommend buying those.  But you can use any watermelon you'd like.  Sometimes I recommend buying two to ensure you get a good one.  I recommend a firm watermelon because you need it to be firm to cut the cubes.  If you end up with one that is overly ripe and the cubes are falling apart, juts make a watermelon salad or watermelon margaritas.

I've also included a picture of the Sheep's Milk Feta Cheese that I love from Trader Joe's.  (This is the same feta cheese I use in the Orzo Arugula Salad  If you do not have a Trader Joe's in your state than try to look for a Mild Feta, Authentic Greek Feta, Sheep's Milk Feta or French Feta.  

WATERMELON PASSION 

This recipe will probably make more than you need.  I'm still working on how many it serves.  Clearly it depends on the size of the watermelon you buy to see how many cubes you can get as a result.  You can also use the same ingredients and make a watermelon salad.  If you make the salad you may need a little more syrup and lime juice.

1 watermelon, (firm is best for cutting cubes, overly ripe ones will fall apart)
1 bunch of mint leaves (use the smaller leaves)
8 to 10 ounces of Feta Cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup Passion Fruit Syrup (or substitute a mixture of honey and lime juice)


Cut the watermelon into 1 1/4-inch cubes.

Scoop a small hole in the top of the melon cube using a 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon as a tool.  (Or a miniature garnishing melon baller can also be used.)

Place 1 small mint leaf in the hole.  Place a chunk of feta cheese over the mint, leaving the top of the mint leaf showing.

Combine the passion fruit syrup and lime juice.  Just before serving drizzle over the feta cheese.



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