Sizzling Summer Appetizers

The bounties of spring and summer star in these refreshing appetizers -- tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and more.

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Fresh Arugula Bruschetta
Fresh Arugula Bruschetta

    Spread garlic toast with a blend of goat cheese and lemon zest; top with arugula leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Blueberry-Peach Focaccia

    This salty-sweet bread is great served a side or starter. To bring out the flavor of the fruit, blend vanilla with olive oil and drizzle over the focaccia before baking.

Fresh Corn Cakes with Garden Relish

    A mixture of red sweet pepper, fresh corn, onion, and basil tops easy-to-make corn cakes.

Spicy Melon Skewers

    Chile peppers add a kick to this salty-sweet appetizer recipe featuring two different kinds of melon and prosciutto.

Herbed Tofu Cakes

    Top veggie, mint, and cilantro-flavored tofu cakes with cucumber and mango for a light, meat-free appetizer.

Herbed Deviled Egg Bruschetta

    These are deviled eggs at their easiest -- no messy mashing and filling. Yolks stay intact -- and sunny yellow -- when sliced and layered over Dijon mayo and toast. A dusting of paprika hints at the classic side dish.

Blue Cheese Mini Corn Dogs

    The crackly cornmeal crust of these pint-size appetizers is studded with bacon and blue cheese. For a retro-decadent splurge, serve with homemade blue cheese dip or prepared honey mustard.

Strawberry-Goat Cheese Bruschetta

    For a fresh summer snack, layer toasted bruschetta with juicy strawberries, creamy goat cheese, and peppery greens.

Veggie-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

    These stuffed mushrooms are filled with summer vegetables, toasted breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese.

Bruschetta with Tomato-Basil Topping

    This bruschetta combines the best of warm-weather eating all in one -- tomatoes, fresh basil, and grilled bread.

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.

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.

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