Two Spring & Summer Appetizer Party Menus
Menus just right for a spring or summer appetizer party. One has a Mediterranean flair and the other is an easy do-ahead party.
Bruschetta with Tomato-Basil Topping
This bruschetta combines the best of warm-weather eating all in one -- tomatoes, fresh basil, and grilled bread.
Lemony Marinated Antipasto
For the sausage featured in this zippy antipasto recipe, we selected chicken or turkey links because they are easy to find and combine well with other flavors.
Mediterranean Walnut Spread
This gussied-up hummus is wonderful and easy as could be to make. Serve with bread, crackers, pitas, or an array of fresh vegetables. If you don't have basil, parsley and a hint of mint is a good substitution.
Icy Shrimp Cocktail
Buying shelled and cooked shrimp makes this gorgeous-looking and great-tasting appetizer a breeze to prepare. There is no cooking -- just lightly toss ingredients together and chill for a minimum of two hours. This recipe is infinitely flexible -- you can increase and decrease as needed.
Tapenade, a condiment of olives and sweet peppers, stars in this Mediterranean-inspired loaf. Make your own, or if you use a purchased tapenade, look for a chopped variety for better color and texture.
Artichoke-Stuffed New Potatoes
Two much-loved contemporary appetizers -- hot artichoke dip and stuffed potato skins -- come together in one great nibble. New potatoes and a sprightly gremolata update this dynamic duo. These can be made through step 2, refrigerated, and baked off the day of the party.
Pork and Chicken BBQ Sticks
Ground chipotle pepper is merely dried smoked jalapeno peppers that have been finely ground. These can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated. Before serving, make sure to give them enough time to get to room temperature.
Tarragon Chicken Salad Mini Croissants
A 1/4-cup ice-cream scoop is a quick and convenient tool to ensure exactly the right amount of filling in each croissant. You can find scoops of various sizes at kitchenware shops. To make this even easier, put the croissants on one platter and the chicken salad in a bowl and let your guests serve themselves.
Thai Spinach Dip
This stir-together treat delivers big peanut flavor with a hint of heat. The dip takes just minutes to prepare.
Roasted Tomato Salsa
Make this salsa up to three days ahead. Charring tomatoes and peppers gives this salsa a unique flavor. For less work, consider substituting canned "fire-roasted" tomatoes in place of the fresh tomatoes. They come in different flavored varieties.
Wrap-and-Roll Basil Pinwheels
Make these appetizers yourself or put out all the fixings and have everyone create their own. Use plain, whole wheat, or colorful spinach or tomato tortillas to wrap up these unique bundles of flavor.