Four Simply Sophisticated Summer Fruit & Cheese Party Recipes

Summer has arrived and famer’s markets all over the lands overflow-eth with bountiful selections of the freshest fruits around. I’m as greedy as a kid in a candy store when it comes to choosing my loot – I want it all!  When I’m ready to conjure up new recipes, nothing gets my creative juices flowing more than the sight of berries, stone fruits, melons, figs and other wonders of warm-weather ripeness.

That being said, I never really feel like spending too much time in the kitchen come summer. First of all, it’s insufferably hot in there. Secondly, there are just too many things to do, places to see and people to visit -summer is the ultimate, three-month long party for me! And, every celebration, from backyard barbeque to church pot luck and family picnic to lawn concert, needs tasty nibbles and noshes – am I right?!

The solution? Appetizers, snacks and desserts made with seasonal fruit and artisanal cheese.  These fruity finger foods are so simple and speedy to make yet make a stunning presentation -ooh, the colors! Plus, the contrast between sweet, juicy fruit and salty, sharp cheeses speaks to even the most sophisticated palates.

The new Simply Artisan Reserve Feta Cheese Crumbles and Blue Cheese Crumbles from Simply Artisan Reserve make whipping up delicious cheese-accented fruit recipes a snap (and a shake) for any meal or get-together.  The tiny little sprinkles are just the right size to complement delicate fruits, not too overwhelming in taste or so chunky they roll right off!  It’s so fun how they sprinkle right out of the jar – or you can use a spoon from the larger lid opening.  I think you will fall in love with the Four Simply Sophisticated Fruit & Cheese Party Recipes I created using this clever new concept in cheese. 

Blue Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Strawberries

Caramelized Nectarines with Blue Cheese & Bacon

Feta & Balsamic Watermelon Slices

Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles

 

Blue Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Strawberries

Serves 12 (2 each) | Finish in 15 minutes
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It wouldn’t be summer without little green baskets of strawberries and these darling nibbles are just the right size to pop in your mouth, one after another after another!  

Ingredients

12 large strawberries

2 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Crumbles

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

honey

Directions

1. Slice 12 large strawberries in half, set aside.

2. Mix together 2 ounces cream cheese, ¼ cup Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Crumbles and ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts.

3. Place dollop of cheese mixture in center of each strawberry half, garnish with additional Blue Cheese Seasons and drizzle with honey.


Caramelized Nectarines with Blue Cheese & Bacon

Serves 8 | Finish in 10 minutes
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This incredibly sweet “fuzzless” stone fruit becomes an over-the-top edible thanks to a quick run under the broiler with some special ingredients. In just a couple minutes, brown sugar, bacon and blue cheese transform into a delicious, descendant crust on the softening nectarines that may actually may you faint. . or at least swoon!  

Ingredients

4 nectarines

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 ounces Simply Artisan Reserve blue cheese crumbles

2 tablespoons bacon crumbles

Directions

1. Slice 4 nectarines in half and remove stone.

2. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 ounces Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Crumbles and 2 tablespoons bacon crumbles evenly across tops.

3. Set under broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until bubbling and beginning to crust. 


Feta & Balsamic Watermelon Slices

Serves 10-16 | Finish in 10 minutes
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As a kid, I remember my grandpa sprinkling salt on his watermelon wedges as I looked on curiously. He said the salt enhanced the fruit’s natural sweetness and, by golly, he was right! The Simply Artisan Reserve Feta Crumbles and balsamic syrup are my grown-up take on this special memory.

Ingredients

1 watermelon

balsamic syrup

Simply Artisan Reserve Feta Crumbles

fresh chopped mint

Directions

1. Slice watermelon into small wedges about ½” thick.

2. Drizzle with balsamic syrup and sprinkle with Simply Artisan Reserve Feta Crumbles and fresh chopped mint. 


Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles

Serves 18 | Finish in 20 minutes
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Surprise! These fun appetizers look like mini cheeseballs on the outside, but the middle is all melon!  The pretty color and mellow sweetness of cantaloupe paired with salty, somewhat sharp feta is a gastronomic taste sensation!  

Ingredients

1 cantaloupe

1/2 cup honey

2/3 cup Feta Crumbles

2 tablespoons Instantly Fresh Mint

2 tablespoons Instantly Fresh Basil

Directions

1. Use melon baller to make uniform-sized pieces of cantaloupe (use about 18).

2. Fill shallow bowl with ½ cup honey and another bowl with mixture of 2/3 cup feta crumbles, 2 tablespoons Instantly Fresh Mint and 2 tablespoons Instantly Fresh Basil.

3. If overly juicy, pat balls dry before rolling each in honey and in cheese mixture, pressing with fingers to stick. 


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