Watermelon, Mint, & Feta Bites
Watermelon, mint, and feta combine in this recipe to create an irresistible appetizer that is perfect for summer.
Served cold, watermelons are a refreshing way to quench your thirst on a hot summer afternoon. Watermelons are rich in their water content and packed with electrolytes. Watermelons are also low in their caloric content (just 30 calories per 100g) and high in their nutrient richness. Watermelons are packed with nutrients like vitamin C and lycopene, which provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits respectively. In fact, it should also be noted that watermelons have a higher concentration of lycopene than tomatoes. Additionally, watermelons are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is another powerful antioxidant. Just 100g of watermelon can provide 569mg of vitamin A, or 19% of your daily recommended intake. Vitamin A is essential for vision and immunity and is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Studies show that consumption of fruits rich in vitamin A, like watermelon, can provide protection against lung and oral cavity cancers. Lastly, watermelon contains high concentrations of an amino acid known as citrulline. Our bodies can convert citrulline into arginine and use that arginine to produce nitric oxide, which is a muscle relaxant. Nitric oxide tells the smooth muscles around our blood vessels to relax, resulting in our blood vessels expanding and allowing our blood to flow more freely, thereby creating a drop in blood pressure.
- 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 Tbs. honey
- 1 serrano chili, seeded and chopped
- 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 small seedless watermelon (3 lbs), peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 oz. feta cheese, cubed into 1/4-inch pieces
- In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup of the mint leaves and the honey and process until well blended.
- Add the chili, vinegar and lime juice and process again. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Transfer the vinaigrette to a bowl and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
- Place the watermelon in a bowl and drizzle with the vinaigrette.
- Begin assembling by placing cheese on a toothpick, followed by a mint leaf, and then the marinated watermelon as the base.
- Place on serving dish and drizzle with any remaining marinade. Serve immediately.