When it comes to planning a cocktail party, the first thing to consider is, of course, the booze. But as a responsible host, you also need to provide your guests with some food to soak up the alcohol. Today we bring you an elegant couscous appetizer with a sophisticated flavor that will amaze all your guest.

The recipe combines the mild flavor of couscous with sweet melon juice and a decadent ham and cream cheese paste. An ideal appetizer to serve with light summer cocktails or even sparkling wine. The best part of it? It can be ready in just 10 minutes. Forget about long days of party preparations. Instead, bring on the couscous and get ready for some food elegance in a cup!

Recipe by Simona Novarini


Here is how to prepare this melon couscous with ham cream in shot glasses

Preparation: 10 minutes
Portions: 4 people


  • 80 ml of melon juice
  • 60 grams of Martino’s Organic Integral Couscous
  • 2 slices of melon
  • 180 grams of cream cheese
  • 100 grams of smoked ham in thin slices
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • Fresh thyme as needed


Prepare the melon juice
Slice the melon into half and remove all the seeds. Using a melon baller or special melon scraper, scrape the melon and place it in a large bowl. Set aside. Bring your fruit juicer, add the melon pieces and extract the juice. You can always use bought melon juice but usually, they have added sugars which will distort the overall balance of the recipe.

Hydrate the couscous
In a large mixing bowl pour 80 ml of the fresh melon juice you have extracted and then pour 80 grams of Martino’s Integral Couscous. Because we are hydrating the couscous in cold juice and not simmering one it will take approximately 8 minutes to fully hydrate.

When the couscous has absorbed all the melon juice use a fork to fluff it. This will remove any lumps and separate the delicate grains without crushing them to give the couscous a light, fluffy texture.

Prepare the cream cheese
You will need a food processor to prepare the ham and cheese cream for this recipe. Add 180 grams of cream cheese in the food processor and 100 grams of sliced smoked ham (raw). Add salt, pepper, and thyme according to your preference and set the food processor to work until you obtain an amalgamated mixture and the ham is fully integrated with the cream.

Serve your melon couscous
To begin with, dice two slices of melon with the help of a sharp knife. Toss the melon dices in the hydrated couscous and mix well. Now it is time to fill in your glasses.

Add 1-2 spoonfuls of the couscous mixture at the bottom of each glass and press lightly to level the surface. Then add the cream cheese mixture on top until the glass is full. Decorate with a thyme leaf.

Your fresh appetizer is ready to serve. Make sure to place the appetizer glasses in the refrigerator. This will maintain them fresh and also make the cream firm. Remove them from the refrigerator right before serving.

Notes and variation

In this appetizer recipe, if you prefer you can replace the cream cheese with fresh ricotta cheese. However, if you are feeling truly adventurous you can use another summer fruit instead of melon. Make sure it is a pulpy fruit and not a very watery one.

If the summer months are getting to you then it’s time to bring some refreshing cocktails and some great company. With this delicious appetizer ready in just 10 minutes, you won’t have to worry about what you will serve your drinks with. Both the flavor and the serving of the melon couscous glasses are so chic that you will delight everyone. Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to receive all the delicious Martino’s recipes directly in your inbox!

When it comes to parties the best food is served in shot glasses! So is this delicate appetizer. Save this recipe, next time you are into hosting a party it will come in handy. Add your own touch to it and as always don’t forget to leave us a comment to tell us about your party, the cocktails and the appetizers!

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