Time for some more fingerfood... although this would be more suited to kick off an Australian barbie or a South African braai, I like to include this in the menu for any cocktail party, even during the winter, as a light and refreshing palate-cleanser. And to be honest, I like this kind of fingerfood when I go to parties myself, merely because you just know what you're letting yourself in for.
I have lost count of the occasions where I've been at a (company Xmas or other soulless) party with very average food and after biting into my third piece of rubbery scallop wrapped in puff pastry (who comes up with these recipes in the first place? There must be a law against such pitiful combinations, surely?!) and (revolting) black pudding buried in a quiche or, even worse, some poor quality meat which is chewy as hell but at least keeps me from having meaningless conversations with people I don't want to talk to in the first place... in such moments you sort of want to know that the next bite you're having is not going to send you running off to McBurgerChicken in a hurry, making sad excuses and looking like the party-pooper that you are.
But sadly, you can't even rely on the waiting staff anymore these days, as more often than not they know as little about the food they're serving as I know about quantum physics or why men couldn't even put the toilet seat down if they're life depended on it. So long live those canapés which you can safely eat without having a trained chef loitering around you and your date for ages, rattling off a gazillion of ingredients and cooking methods that brought to life the tiny bite you're about to shove into your mouth...
Feta, melon, olive & mint skewers*
200 g feta cheese
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp olive oil
cracked black pepper
2 tbsp chopped mint
10 black olives (pitted and halved)
20 bite-sized pieces of melon (I used galia, but canteloupe or even watermelon work just as well)
20 mint leaves
20 skewers (or toothpicks)
Cut the feta into 20 even cubes, using a warm knife to prevent it from crumbling and falling apart.
Mix the lime juice, oil, chopped mint together and season with salt and cracked pepper. Pour over the feta in a bowl and leave to infuse for at least an hour, longer if you can.
Assemble by skewering up a mint leaf, a piece of melon, half an olive and a feta cube on the bottom. Arrange on a serving tray.
* Recipe (except for marinade and substituting melon for cucumber) from Eric Treuille's book "Canapés", p. 80)