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Simple Summer Appetizers

Joey's Summer Pizza

Whether spending the afternoon by the pool with the family or having a relaxing evening at home with friends, having something to munch on is a necessity. In the summer, I like to lighten up my recipes and make easy and simple appetizers.

“When I bring this Corn and Bean Sweet Chunky Salsa to a party everyone wants the recipe,” shares Kimberly Kolligs (Aberdeen, MD). “It’s so easy!”

I couldn’t stop snacking on this salsa. It’s sweet from the apple cider dressing, yellow pepper, and corn. Feta adds a hint of saltiness for that perfect sweet and salty balance. Kimberly’s recipe calls for canned corn. Since fresh corn is available now, I would use that to add a bit of summertime freshness.

“We eat this a lot in the summer,” says Joey Wolf (Oquawka, IL). “It’s a salad and veggie pizza perfect for those hot summer days.” Slice Joey’s Summer Pizza into smaller slices and you have an easy appetizer.

The buttery flavor of the crescent rolls makes for a delicious crust. The cream cheese sauce is cool, tangy, and refreshing. Once the crust is baked, in the Test Kitchen we topped the pizza with fresh tomatoes, black olives, green onions, and cilantro. But, top with whatever you like or have on hand. It’s super simple.

Thomas Warner (Penn Yan, NY) made this recipe and shared, “We served the pizza to guests this weekend and it was spectacular.” He suggested adding tiny canned shrimp to the pizza which would be a yummy topping.

“I fell in love with hummus when I worked at the farmer’s markets in California,” explains Jodie Scales (Spokane, WA). I would get flatbread, hummus, tomatoes, avocados and make a meal of it.”

Jodie has put a twist on hummus in her Roasted Garlic Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus. She uses chickpeas which is the traditional hummus base. But she amps up the flavor with the other ingredients. I especially loved the roasted garlic and cilantro. The flavors pack a punch and make you want to go back for more… and more.

Shrimp cocktail is a light summertime appetizer I love to prepare. One that’s fresh and fabulous is Lou Kostura’s (Belmont, CA) Mexicano Shrimp Cocktail.

“I originally tried this in a tiny Mexican general store in Calistoga California,” reveals Lou. “They serve it up in small styrofoam cups on Sunday mornings, and after the first one I was hooked.”

Lou’s recreation of what he tried is delicious. When I mixed everything and tasted, I was thinking this is OK but it’s missing something. Well, while chilling in the fridge the magic happens. The few dashes of tabasco provide a kick. The fresh veggies, cilantro, and lime are so good and the shrimp soak up all the flavor. So good!

If your garden is bursting with tomatoes, make a batch of Bobbi Gulla’s (Philadelphia, PA) Bruschetta & Cheese. Bobbi’s twist on bruschetta is delicious. It’s fresh, full of flavor and cheesy! The fresh basil adds a peppery taste and made the Test Kitchen smell amazing. Add a spoonful onto water crackers or toasted baguette for a simple and refreshing appetizer.

Try one of these summertime appetizers the next time you have friends over. What’s your go-to appetizer recipe in the summer? Let us know in the comments. Happy Pinching!