The French term amuse-bouche, which translates to “mouth amuser” and refers to the one-bite starter served at many restaurants, doesn’t sound quite as poetic in English, but if you are looking for a little something to amuse your mouth, this recipe, which features marinated cubes of feta with grapes, delivers.
First there’s the briny feta, brightened with a lemony marinade and accented with a ping of coarsely ground fennel seed and black pepper. Then, suddenly, the sweet-tart juiciness of the green grape bursts in. And, finally, there’s a cooling clear note from the fresh mint leaf.
Each skewer is one titillating bite that will leave you wanting another, which is why this recipe makes enough for each person to have at least three.
An ideal way to kick off an alfresco summer gathering, these skewers make for a memorable way to whet everyone’s appetite and get them excited for what’s next.
Marinated Feta and Grape Skewers
These one-bite skewers begin to entice even before you take a bite, with their beautiful presentation, standing vertically and majestically on the serving dish. Pop one in your mouth and you get a quartet of flavors, with briny feta, brightened with a lemony marinade and accented with coarsely ground fennel seed and black pepper; a sweet-tart burst of juicy green grape; and finally, a cooling, clear note from the fresh mint leaf. Each skewer is one titillating bite that will leave you wanting another, which is why this recipe makes enough for each person to have at least three.
You’ll need 21 toothpicks or short skewers.
Make Ahead: The feta needs to marinate at least 1 and up to 3 hours before serving. The skewers may be made several hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Want to save this recipe? Click the bookmark icon below the serving size at the top of this page, then go to My Reading List in your washingtonpost.com user profile.
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- One (4-ounce) block feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (to yield 21 cubes)
- 21 fresh mint leaves (1/3 cup)
- 21 green grapes (1 cup)
Place the fennel seeds and peppercorns into a small, sealable bag and use a mallet or rolling pin to coarsely crush them. Alternatively, crush them using a spice grinder.
Transfer the crushed spices to a medium bowl. Add the oil, lemon zest and juice, and stir to combine. Gently stir in the feta cubes and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or up to 3 hours in the refrigerator, stirring gently a few times as they marinate.
To make the skewers, place a mint leaf about 3/4 inch up the skewer, then add a grape, and then gently place a cube of the marinated feta on the end. Serve, or refrigerate until needed.
Per serving (3 skewers), based on 7
Calories: 59; Total Fat: 4 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 14 mg; Sodium: 181 mg; Carbohydrates: 3 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugar: 3 g; Protein: 2 g
This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.
From cookbook author and registered nutritionist dietitian Ellie Krieger.
Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to email@example.com.
Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.