Summer is almost here guys! While I am not excited about the unbelievably hot weather, I am excited about longer days. I love that it’s light when I go to work and when I come home. Summer also means melon season, poolside soirees, and these bomb Watermelon Feta Balsamic Canapés. Scooped out “cups” of sweet watermelon, tangy feta, sweet and savory basil, and balsamic pair perfectly in these pretty canapés.
I recently discovered balsamic pearls at our local Central Market. They are tiny little balls bursting with balsamic vinegar that add a touch of uniqueness to these canapés. TBH, they kind of look like large caviar, but you can reassure your guests they will get a burst of sweet balsamic on their watermelon instead. You can snag a jar on Amazon here (affiliate), or see if your local specialty grocer carries them.
Get to Room Temperature
One of the most important things about these – let that feta get to room temperature. It gets soft and creamy, and definitely kicks these bites up a notch. I let my feta sit out for an hour before assembling.
These gorgeous Watermelon Feta Balsamic Canapés take a little time to assemble. Start by slicing the watermelon into 1″ to 1-1/2″ thick slices. Next, use a small round cookie cutter to punch holes in the watermelon slices. Before removing the cookie cutter, use a melon baller to gently scoop out a little “bowl” in each watermelon round. This will give you a nice spot for the balsamic and feta.
Once you have the watermelon set, finely julienne 1/2 an oz of basil leaves. To julienne the basil, start by stacking five or so leaves on top of one another. Next, tightly roll them up, working from tip of the leaves to the base. Then using a very sharp knife, thinly slice the basil roll to get ultra-fine strips. I am using my all time favorite Zwilling Pro 8″ chef’s knife to cut the basil. Once the basil is julienned, chop it up to a finer mince, and add to the feta.
The final step. Assembly. Start by lining up the watermelon cups. Then, put a tiny amount of balsamic vinegar or reduction in the bottom of each cup. Next, carefully spoon a little feta/basil mixture in each up. Top each one with 5 to 7 balsamic pearls (or less if they are large pearls), and voila! You a ready to serve. Store any extras in the fridge as needed.
I hope you cool off with these tasty Watermelon Feta Balsamic Canapés this summer. Please share all of your favorite melon recipes in the comments. It’s that time of year, and I can’t wait to savor more delicious melon.
Watermelon Feta Balsamic Canapés
These little beauties are bursting with the flavor of sweet watermelon, tangy feta, savory basil and a kick of balsamic. Perfect for that summer soirée.
- 1/2 small seedless personal watermelon
- 4 oz block feta hand crumbled
- 1/2 oz fresh basil
- 2 oz balsamic vinegar or reduction
- 1 jar balsamic pearls
Take the feta out of the fridge. Crumble in to small bits by hand. Set aside, and let come to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
Next, cut slices into the watermelon about 1" thick. Lay a slice down on a cutting board. Grab a 1-1/2" diameter round cookie cutter. Punch a hole in the watermelon slice. Try to get 5 punches per slice. While the cookie cutter is still in the watermelon, use a melon baller to scoop a little "bowl" in the watermelon round. Then remove the cookie cutter, and repeat the process until you have 30 to 35 rounds.
Next, julienne cut the basil leaves. Then finely chop the julienne strips to make little pieces. Add this to the room-temperature feta, and stir gently to combine.
Set out the watermelon slices on a large cutting board. Pour a small amount of balsamic (or reduction) in the bottom of each scoop. Top with the feta/basil mixture. Finally, carefully spoon a few balsamic pearls on the very top. Transfer the desired amount to a serving plate.
Store any additional canapés in the fridge or air-tight container (if storing overnight). These are best served right away, but still taste good the next day as leftovers. Enjoy!