For me, watermelon is life! I wait every year not so patiently waiting for the watermelons to show up at the store and the Farmers Market. Growing up in Washington the best time of the year was August when the watermelons from Hermiston, Oregon hit the markets, because a Hermiston Watermelon is the best watermelon in my honest opinion. This recipe was inspired by my love of salt and chili on my watermelon. It seems fancy but it is so simple to make, the hardest part is removing the watermelon rind, no joke. Give this recipe a try, you can make watermelon bites with a toothpick for appetizers for serve on a bed of spinach or greens to make an amazing salad..
Elevate your appetizer game with these Serrano Goat Cheese Watermelon Bites. This delightful combination of juicy watermelon, creamy goat cheese, and a touch of Serrano heat promises an explosion of flavors in every bite. Perfect for summer gatherings or any occasion, these bites are not only visually stunning but also incredibly easy to prepare. Discover how this harmonious blend of ingredients comes together to create an appetizer that will leave your taste buds craving more.
Incorporate a touch of culinary artistry into your gatherings with Serrano Goat Cheese Watermelon Bites. This fusion of vibrant colors, contrasting textures, and bold flavors encapsulates the essence of a memorable appetizer. Whether enjoyed at a casual backyard BBQ or an elegant soirée, these bites are guaranteed to steal the spotlight and earn you rave reviews from guests. Unleash your creativity, customize according to your preferences, and embrace the sensational combination of sweet, spicy, and creamy in every single bite.
- Seedless watermelon cubes (1-inch)
- Pistachios, finely chopped
- Salt (¼ teaspoon)
- Lime zest (2 teaspoons)
- Honey (1 tablespoon)
- Goat cheese (4 oz)
- Cream cheese (4 oz)
- Serrano pepper, finely diced (remove stems and seeds for less spice)
- Cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped (¼ cup)
- Balsamic vinegar (1 tablespoon)
Please see recipe card for complete instructions
- Pistachios: Swap pistachios with almonds or walnuts for an alternative crunch.
- Honey: Substitute honey with maple syrup for a different hint of sweetness.
- Goat Cheese: If not a fan of goat cheese, cream cheese can be used for the entire cheese mixture.
- Serrano Pepper: For milder spice, replace the serrano pepper with a jalapeño or omit it entirely.
- Cilantro: If cilantro isn't your preference, opt for fresh mint leaves for a refreshing twist.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Try using a flavored vinegar like raspberry or fig balsamic for an extra layer of taste.
- Prosciutto Addition: Wrap each watermelon cube with a thin slice of prosciutto before adding the cheese mixture for a savory touch.
- Citrus Zest: Experiment with different citrus zests like orange or lemon to vary the zestiness.
- Nut-Free Option: Skip the nuts and incorporate toasted coconut flakes for a nut-free version.
- Cutting board and knife
- Mixing bowls
- Cheese grater for lime zest
- Finely diced knife for Serrano pepper
- Serving platter or tray
- Best served immediately for optimal freshness and texture.
- If necessary, prepare the cheese mixture and watermelon cubes ahead of time, but assemble just before serving to maintain the crunch of the watermelon.
Chill the Cheese Mixture Before Assembling
For an extra layer of flavor and easy assembly, consider chilling the goat cheese and cream cheese mixture before adding it to the watermelon cubes. This not only enhances the creaminess but also makes it simpler to scoop and dollop onto the watermelon. The cooler temperature also helps the cheese hold its shape, allowing your Serrano Goat Cheese Watermelon Bites to maintain their elegant appearance until they're savored.
When selecting a watermelon, look for one that feels heavy for its size and has a uniform shape. A creamy yellow spot on one side indicates ripeness from sitting on the ground and developing sugars. Knock on it – a deep, hollow sound means it's likely ripe. However, since you'll be cutting it into cubes, the overall sweetness is less crucial for this recipe.
While it's best to assemble the bites just before serving for the ultimate freshness, you can prepare the cheese mixture and finely dice the serrano pepper and cilantro in advance. Store these components separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Cut the watermelon cubes and store them in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for a few hours. Assemble the bites right before your event for the perfect blend of textures and flavors.
If you prefer a milder spice level, be sure to remove the seeds and stems from the Serrano pepper before dicing. You can even consider using just a portion of the pepper or substituting it with a milder chili variety, like jalapeño. Adjust the quantity according to your heat preference, ensuring everyone can enjoy these bites without overwhelming spiciness.
Absolutely! For a vegan twist, substitute the goat cheese and cream cheese with dairy-free alternatives, like plant-based cream cheese or cashew-based cheeses. You can also use maple syrup instead of honey for sweetening. This modification maintains the integrity of the recipe while accommodating different dietary preferences.
Serrano and Goat Cheese Watermelon Bites with Pistachio Crumble
- 1 No cook
- 4 cups 1 inch seedless watermelon cubes
- ¼ cup pistachio finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 serrano pepper finely diced (remove stems and seeds for less spice)
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves and stems finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut the watermelon into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the chopped pistachios, salt, lime zest, and honey. Mix until well combined and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the softened goat cheese, cream cheese, diced serrano, and chopped cilantro. Mix until well combined, and lumps of cheese are gone. Place cheese in a piping bag, or you can add dollops with a small spoon.
- On the plate or platter, add a drizzle of the balsamic vinegar. Place your cubes on the plate. Add a dollop of the cheese mixture to the top of each watermelon cube. Add the pistachio crumble on top of the cheese mixture. Place a toothpick into the cheese and watermelon. Drizzle with remaining balsamic. Place micro green or cilantro leaf on each cube to take it up to another level.
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