Cool Summer Appetizers That'll Transport You to Foodie Paradise

Summer Appetizers
If you are throwing a dinner party or a cocktail party this summer, then you will need some good appetizers. Appetizers for sultry summers should ideally be light and not too spicy. Here is a compilation of some of the best appetizers for summer.
Appetizers are an essential course for any party or gathering and you just cannot do without them. When it comes to hosting a party in summer, you need appetizers that are not too heavy on the palate and which are cool and refreshing. As summers are the time when you get the most variety of delectable fresh vegetables and fruits, you can create many appetizer recipes that uses these fresh produce. When you are hosting a cocktail party or a dinner party, you do not want to slave over the hot stove all day, preparing dishes. So the best appetizers are those that can be prepared well in advance and only needs to be grilled or heated before serving them.
Quick Appetizers for Summer
Appetizers that are served in summer should ideally be cold or chilled. This cools down the body temperature and is great for those sultry evenings when you don't feel like eating anything too spicy or hot. One of the best ideas for summer appetizers is to serve chilled soups or gazpacho in small shot glasses. You can also serve ceviche which is a kind of marinated raw seafood or meat dish. Your guests will find this simple fare very refreshing and appetizing.
Simple Gazpacho
Cold tomato soup
Ingredients
♨ 2 cups cherry tomatoes
♨ 1 cup tomato juice
♨ 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
♨ 1 small red pepper, chopped
♨ 1 medium red onion, chopped fine
♨ 2 cloves garlic, minced
♨ Juice of 1 lime
♨ 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
♨ ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
♨ 1 small jalapeño, chopped
♨ 1 teaspoon salt
♨ ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
♨ Sprigs of basil leaves
♨ ½ teaspoon ground cumin
♨ 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Method
Boil some water in a saucepan and pour it over the cherry tomatoes placed in a bowl. Allow the tomatoes to remain in the water for 5 minutes and then peel off the skins. Now puree the tomatoes in a food processor and add the tomato juice into it. Remove the pureed cherry tomatoes into a bowl and set it aside.

In the food processor, add the chopped cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeño, red onion, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, ground cumin, salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Process this until you get a thick pulpy mixture. Transfer this mixture into the bowl containing the tomato puree and mix everything until well combined. Chill the gazpacho for at least two hours and pour it into small shot glasses drizzled with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and garnished with a sprig of basil leaf. This is a good cold appetizer for summer which can be served with summer cocktails and your guests are sure to enjoy it.
Green Mango Salad
Spicy food
Ingredients
♨ 2 large green mangoes, peeled and finely julienned
♨ ½ red onion, finely julienned
♨ ½ cup roasted, salted peanuts
♨ 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
♨ ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
♨ 1 garlic clove, minced
♨ 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
♨ 2 tablespoons fish sauce
♨ ¼ cup lime juice
♨ 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Method
In a small bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and red chili flakes. Whisk them together until all the sugar has dissolved and you have a thin dressing.

Next add the julienned green mango to a bowl along with the minced garlic, roasted peanuts and red onion. Add the chopped cilantro and mix well. Drizzle the mango salad with the dressing and serve cold.
Ceviche
Seafood ceviche
Ingredients
♨ 250 g piece of skinless plaice fillet
♨ 250 g piece of skinless salmon fillet
♨ Juice of 3 limes
♨ 1 red onion, finely sliced
♨ 1 green chili, chopped
♨ 1 red chili, chopped
♨ ¼ cup coriander leaves
Method
Slice the salmon and plaice into thin strips with a sharp knife and place them in a single layer over a large platter. Mix together the lime juice, sliced red onion and chillies. Pour this mixture over the fish, making sure that you cover the fish with it. Cover the platter with a cling film and allow it to marinate for an hour in the fridge. Serve this simple seafood appetizer recipe with chopped coriander leaves.

Another great way to serve healthy appetizers to your friends and family is to make a selection of tasty dips that can be served with a variety of breads, tortilla chips and crackers as well as crunchy vegetables. Dips too can be prepared well in advance and you can also experiment with different food combinations. Here are a few dips that you can use for your next party.
Grilled Eggplant with Tomato and Onion Salsa
Grilled Eggplant
Ingredients
♨ 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
♨ 1 large eggplant
♨ ½ cup chopped onion
♨ 1 garlic clove, minced
♨ 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
♨ 1 tablespoon drained capers, rinsed
♨ 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
♨ 2 celery stalks, finely diced
♨ 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
♨ 5 large green olives, pitted, thinly sliced
♨ ½ teaspoon chili flakes
♨ Salt and pepper to taste
Method
Peel the eggplant and cut it crosswise into 1 inch thick slices. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Leave the eggplant aside and preheat the grill.

In a bowl, mix together the quartered cherry tomatoes, chopped onions, capers, celery, oregano, sliced olives and minced garlic. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar and red chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper and set it aside. Grill the eggplant slices for around 7-8 minutes on both sides.

Arrange the eggplant slices on a platter and spoon some of the onion and tomato salsa over it. Serve hot.
Lemony Garlic Prawns
Lemony Garlic Prawns
Ingredients
♨ 750 g prawns
♨ 4 cloves garlic, peeled
♨ ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
♨ 4 tablespoons plain unsalted butter
♨ ¼ cup fresh parsley
♨ Juice of 1 lemon
♨ 1 teaspoon salt
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Method
Clean and devein the prawns and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the prawns in a single layer on a baking sheet. In a food processor, process the butter, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt and red pepper. Add this mixture over the prawns and cook until the prawns are done. Serve hot with freshly baked bread.
Crab Dip
Crab Dip
Ingredients
♨ 1 can crab meat
♨ 1 ½ cups cream cheese
♨ 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
♨ 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
♨ 1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
♨ 2 tablespoons lemon juice
♨ ¼ teaspoon chili sauce
Method
Mix the sour cream along with the crab meat, chopped chives, mayonnaise, horseradish sauce, chili sauce and lemon juice. Check seasonings and add more salt if required. Chill the crab dip for at least an hour before serving with crackers.
You can also serve dips made with a variety of oven roasted vegetables like tomatoes and bell pepper as well as different types of chips. Other great cocktail party food are tomato bruschetta, deviled eggs, mini crab cakes, spring rolls and tuna tartar. Also serve cool summer drinks to go with these delicious appetizers. Whatever summer appetizers you serve, make sure that they are presented in the most attractive way.