Looks can be deceiving. Especially when it comes to the NERGI®fruit berry.
While scanning over the vibrant array of fruit at the greengrocer I wouldn’t have given this fruit a second glance. Surely, with their deep green skins they must be as sour as vinegar! When they are soft to the touch, they are ripe and when you halve them they look like baby kiwis. Although it’s a berry fruit and not part of the kiwi family, there are some similarities in flavour. One marked difference between this berry and the kiwi is that the former isn’t nearly as acidic as the latter, which in my books makes it the more pleasant fruit.
NERGI® is sustainably farmed, handpicked and there’s no need to peel them. A quick rinse under the tap will do. They can be enjoyed any time and anywhere but they are particularly ideal for kids’ lunch boxes and healthy snacking. Apparently, you can cook them too but for me, as with most fruit, NERGI® is best enjoyed in their prime simply on their own, unsullied by other flavours.
On that note, here is another easy way to enjoy them – with cheese and nuts. In this case, goat’s cheese was used but blue cheese, albeit in smaller amounts, would work too. My 5 year old daughter loved preparing these little balls with me and skewering them with the fruit afterwards.
Whizz up the pecan nuts into little pieces that they resemble fine gravel. Finely chop a handful of chives and mix in with the nuts. If you’re wondering why the goat’s cheese has a slight grey tinge to it, I used goat’s cheese logs that had special ash rind and blended them coarsely. Roll little balls, about 3cm (just over 1 inch) in diameter, with the cheese and then dunk them in the nut mixture to cover.
For an extra splash of colour, I alternated the kiwi berries with sweet piquanté peppers, which worked really well. Grapes can be used too with the cheese balls.
These canapés are excellent to serve at a cocktail party but whatever you do, don’t forget Aperol Spritz!
Fancy the beautiful crockery in the photos? You can buy them here at the Rex London.
Colourful, healthy, simple. Jo Pratt’s latest book, In the Mood for Healthy Food, is a jewel on any health conscious cook’s shelf. Two lucky readers can win a copy this week! Here are a handful of many recipes that make me want to run to the kitchen:
- Poached Eggs, Tahini and Pan-Fried Avocado
- Warm Duck and Cherry Salad
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Books on Small Bites
- Party-perfect Bites
- The Party Food Bible
- Make Mine a Martini
- The Ritz London Book of Drinks & Cocktails
Nergi with Pecan and Goat’s Cheeseballs
Author: Michelle Minnaar
These kiwi berries with goat’s cheese are perfect for cocktail parties.
- 300g (10oz) goat’s cheese
- 100g (3oz) pecan nuts, crushed
- handful of chives, finely sliced
- 10 Nergi/kiwiberries, halved
- Mix the pecans and chives together and flatten out on a plate.
- Crumble the goat’s cheese.
- Roll the goat’s cheese into 3cm balls then cover them with the pecan mixture.
- Thread half a kiwi berry onto a cocktail stick, then add the cheese ball.
- Repeat the process until all ingredients are used up.
For added variety, use grapes or peppadews along with the kiwi berries.Nutritional values are for the cheese balls only.
Serving Size 20g
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 6.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.8 g
Cholesterol 11 mg
Sodium 71 mg
Total Carbohydrates 0.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Sugars 0.2 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.