Cheese is the perfect appetizer, whether a lovely wedge of aged cheddar paired with apples or something more elaborate such as a dips, spreads, and tortas.
Full-flavor cheeses such as cheddar and Stilton taste best at room temperature. When serving cheese as part of a dessert buffet, allow 1 ounce of cheese per serving.
Replace the traditional cheese assortment with just one cheese so guests can really focus on its unique character. Partner it with fresh pears and a crock of homemade mustard apple butter to spread on the cheese and pears.
Goat cheese, or chevre, with its intense flavor, is a delightful complement to dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Together, they make an ideal spread for entertaining or everyday snacking.
A savory cheesecake made from cream, Gruyere, and dry Jack cheeses and served with pears and crostini is a festive way to start any gathering.
Cheesy and addictive, this Parmesan-Artichoke spread features Italian parsley, also called flat-leaf parsley. The herb has a milder flavor than the curly-leaf variety.
Use Fresh Tarragon Yogurt Cheese to top grilled meats or to spread on a toasted bagel.
A great new twist on everyone's favorite -- salsa. Adding avocado and feta to a tomato-based salsa gives the dip a richer taste.
Feta-Fruit Appetizer makes a stunning presentation of the classic fruit-and-cheese duo. A melon baller or plain teaspoon will work to hollow out the cheese; work gingerly to keep the sides from crumbling.
Make these appetizers yourself or put out the fixings of Boursin, basil, roasted sweet peppers, and thinly sliced meats -- then have everyone create their own snacks. Use plain, whole wheat, or colorful spinach or tomato tortillas to wrap up these unique bundles of flavor.
These tiny lacy cups filled with creme fraiche and caviar are simply melted cheese. Not just any cheese, though. The success of these distinctive nibbles comes in using real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Standing the test of time, this delightful combo of cream cheese, blue cheese, ripe olives, and walnuts still makes a terrific nibble for modern-day parties.
Sweet fruits, salty prosciutto, and crunchy nuts meld lusciously with mascarpone cheese. An ideal complement to this fruit pate would be light, fruity white or rose wines.
Toasted walnuts, sweet clover honey, hot red pepper, and soft aromatic cheese blend seamlessly in this spicy and savory spread.
Cream cheese, pesto, and provolone -- yum! People will think you spent scads of time on this. Surprise! Fifteen minutes and you've got a winner.
The base of this sweet and savory appetizer is cream cheese and Monterey Jack spiked with a little orange juice, then studded with dried apricots, raisins, and dates and rolled in almonds. Be inventive -- use whatever your favorite dried fruits are.
For your next appetizer platter, marinate cubes of feta cheese in herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice.
Enjoy this creamy blend of cream cheese, caraway seed, chives, and dillweed rolled in a combination of pink, green, and black peppercorns.
Thin baguette slices are topped with feta cheese spread, tomatoes, and olives. It's one of those recipes that is better than the sum of its parts.
Bite-sized spiral sandwiches of artichoke, pimiento, prosciutto, and provolone are both colorful and delicious.
A swirl of fresh herbs and green onion add a vivid flavor to this chunky dip of sour cream, a bit of salsa, and chunks of queso fresco -- a white, crumbly Mexican cheese. To scoop up the dip, you'll need a sturdy chip.
Think of this as spreadable pumpkin cheesecake. Spread it on everything from mini bagels to gingersnap cookies.
A great make-ahead appetizer. The dough for these crisp Cheddar Crackers can be made in advance and frozen up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then simply slice, bake, and cool.
These irresistible morsels are easy to make -- just spread tortillas with the light and luscious cheese-and-pepper filling, add fresh basil or spinach, and roll.
Three cheeses -- mozzarella, smoked Gouda, and smoked cheddar -- provide a pleasant backdrop for the sweet onion and date topping.
A blend of smoked cheese and cream cheese is mixed with a dash of steak sauce, then rolled in toasted pecans, giving this appetizer a full-flavored taste.
Cheddar and cream cheese blend with salmon and dillweed to fill these crisp pastry cups.
Two cheeses -- one a mild flavor, the other strong -- make a perfect pairing that's ready to enjoy in 10 minutes. Serve as an appetizer with dippers or spread on dinner rolls.
A great make-ahead treat! This torta of basil-pistachio pesto with alternating layers of cream cheese is both colorful and delicious.
A wonderful way to present a classic trio of cheese, pesto, and tomatoes.
Slice refrigerated polenta, top with shredded cheese, and add whatever toppings strike your fancy. Serve these savory circles with forks.
This savory cheesecake says "party" with a Greek accent. Make the cheesecake up to 24 hours ahead, then cut it into thin wedges and let guests serve themselves.
This nibble from Tuscany, one of the most traditional versions of bruschetta, is also one of the quickest to assemble.