EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


November 22, 2013

Appetizer doubles as holiday centerpiece

Tangy feta complements sweet baked pumpkin

Whatever shall I serve as an appetizer? What is something creative that my guests will like? This is a mystery that seems to need constant solving. To the rescue comes our Mystery Chef with a solution for your appetizer dilemma!

This truly easy and colorful dish serves as both a colorful autumn centerpiece and appetizer. All you need is a small pumpkin, some honey and spices, and a creative spirit.

Simply quarter the pumpkin, remove the skin and cut into cubes. Then add the rest of the ingredients and roast for 15 to 20 minutes. To assemble your creation, alternate cubes of feta cheese with pumpkin on a skewer and place into a small pumpkin or gourd. Your guests will be impressed!

Pumpkin and Feta Appetizers

1 small sugar pumpkin (or 1/4 large pumpkin) for recipe, and a second for centerpiece (optional)

8 ounces feta cheese

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon raw sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Quarter the pumpkin and using a large metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and insides of the pumpkin. Save the seeds for roasting. Using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the pumpkin. Cut slices of pumpkin, about 1-inch thick, then cut again to cube into 1-by-1 inch cubes.

Mix the pumpkin with the rest of the ingredients, except feta, gently in a bowl.

Place on baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness of slices.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Cut the feta cheese into 1-by-1/2 inch rectangles.

Arrange on a small skewer or long toothpick a piece of pumpkin, feta cheese and pumpkin (so that the feta is in the middle). Stick the skewers in a small pumpkin or gourd for a creative presentation.




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