My New “Go To” Summer Appetizers

Cucumber Slices, Hearts of Palm, Feta, Herbs“Cucumber Slices with Hearts of Palm, Feta, and Fresh Herbs”—those are the extra easy, extra quick appetizers I’ve served twice in the last two weeks when entertaining. In Paris I included them in a spread of starters to begin a summer supper. Back home this week, when we invited friends to stop by for wine, I offered them again along with a platter of cheeses.

On both occasions, a plate of cucumber slices mounded with a mixture of pureed hearts of palm, feta, and fresh herbs, disappeared within minutes and had to be refurbished. I watched as guests helped themselves to not one or two, but several servings. These little bites offered a cooling respite to the heat of summer both in Paris and in New England.

I can’t take credit for inventing this recipe. That honor goes to my book club friend and talented cook, Beth Souza, who served them to rave reviews at one of our meetings. She shared the recipe with me, explaining that she used a food processor to blend hearts of palm with feta (preferably purchased in brine), along with herbs including mint, cilantro, and chives. A touch of olive oil and water smooth out the mixture. Your gluten free guests as well as your vegetarian pals will love these, she added!

I’m already planning to serve these appetizers again when more out-of-town company arrive this weekend!

 

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Cucumber Slices with Hearts of Palm, Feta, and Fresh Herbs

One 14-oz can hearts of palm, rinsed, drained well, and patted dry (See market note)
4 oz block of feta in brine, drained and crumbled
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp chopped mint plus 1 to 1/2 tablespoons extra julienned mint for garnish
1 1/2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 seedless cucumber

1. Place the hearts of palm in a colander, and rinse under cold, running water. Drain well, and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Cut the hearts of palm into 1-inch pieces and place in a food processor. Add the crumbled feta, olive oil, water, chopped mint, cilantro, and chives. Pulse until mixture is well blended. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. (Topping can be prepared 6 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.) Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove alternate lengthwise strips from the cucumber. Then slice the cucumber on a very slight diagonal into 1/4-inch thick rounds.

3. Using a tablespoon, mound slices with the palm/feta mixture. (You may not need to use all the slices; use extras in a salad.) Arrange the slices on a platter and garnish each with some julienned mint. Makes about 26 to 28 servings.

Market note:  Goya brand sells hearts of palm already cut into 1-inch pieces (a definite time saver) if available in your supermarket.

Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2017

6 thoughts on “My New “Go To” Summer Appetizers

    • Hi Sue,
      Didn’t realize Connie was your friend but as you can see I really appreciated her kind note. Hope you try these appetizers too–really easy and definitely good in hot summer weather!

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