The Perfect Summer Appetizers To Bring To Any Gathering

Summertime is a great time of year for parties, from casual family get-togethers and backyard grill-outs to birthday celebrations at the local park or block parties in your neighborhood. These parties almost always include a shared meal, and you can make an easy, delicious contribution by choosing from among one of these summertime appetizer recipes.

Tomato and Mozzarella Bites

This highly rated recipe combines fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella for an easy-to-eat version of caprese salad. Bonus points if you can gather the basil and tomatoes from your garden. Arrange the bites artfully on a plate with a drizzle of balsamic dressing for a fancier presentation, or simply bring them in a container and remove the lid, no additional work required.

Lemon Parsley Popcorn

For an offbeat, snacklike appetizer that will get noticed at the party, add fresh chopped parsley and lemon zest to popcorn along with butter and salt. The recipe writer suggests that other herb-and-fruit combinations, such as rosemary and citrus zest, also make great-tasting additions to popcorn. This recipe is super simple to put together and got fabulous reviews on

Summer Panzanella

This warm, summery dish incorporates ripe summer tomatoes with cucumber, basil, onion and garlic. It’s a great option to add to party-goers’ plates at grill-outs alongside burgers and other main courses. Just bring in a colorful bowl with a serving spoon.

Strawberry Salsa

Take advantage of delicious, fresh summer strawberries to create a fresh twist on typical tomato-based salsa. Simply chop up strawberries and mix with cilantro, lime juice and zest, salt, and a chopped jalapeno pepper. Just let the dish sit for 10 or 20 minutes to let the flavors mix and set. This dish adds a pop of color to any summer table. Bring a bag of chips tortilla along with you to the party to serve with the salsa.

Watermelon Pizza

For another colorful appetizer that takes advantage of other delicious summer seasonal fruit, try a watermelon pizza. The recipe linked above also combines a mixture of honey, ricotta and cream cheeses, and fresh berries that make it sweet enough to serve for dessert. A garnish of fresh mint is the perfect final touch for this yummy summer treat. This dish is meant to be served right after you make it, so try not to let it sit in the sun. For a more savory option, you can experiment with feta, balsamic and red onion.

Zucchini Appetizer Bites

It doesn’t get much simpler than this to make — and it’s pretty healthy, too! Simply spread soft herbal and garlic cheese on top of fresh sliced zucchini and sprinkle the cheese with chives and chopped olives. The result is crisp, satisfying, easy to prepare ahead of time, and looks great on a platter.

Marinated Cheese Cubes

To transform ordinary cheese into a fancier, deli-style snack, throw cubes of Monterey Jack cheese in a bag with lemon zest, lemon juice, sliced garlic, pepper and fennel and let it marinade for up to three days in advance of the party. You can serve the cheese at room temperature in a bowl with the juice. For another, simpler option, you can always put together a simple try of olives and sliced cheeses. These options usually fail to disappoint.

Cherry Tomato Lollipops

For a final recipe that incorporates perhaps the most popular summer garden vegetable in a unique way, try making some cherry tomato lollipops. These simply consist of cherry tomatoes on a skewer topped with avocado and cheese. The avocado helps the cheese stick – and cutting the cheese into little triangles gives the lollipops a festive look perfect for any summer party.


Photo credit: spiralmushroom/ CC 2.0

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