As you plan your summer hosting schedule, make sure to give some thought to the appetizers you’ll have to welcome your guests. The vibrant colours of summer call for equally bold colours on the table – appetizers that are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate! We’ve rounded up six of the best colourful appetizers that can add visual appeal to any party’s theme this season.
Deviled eggs are a summer party favourite; if you don’t have a family recipe, try this one that gives you classic, simple flavours. For a unique spin on this appetizer (and some added colour on the table!), try pickling the hardboiled eggs in a beet juice mixture ahead of time. The red colour from the juice will turn the whites of the eggs a beautiful dark pink colour, and the pickling liquid will add a pop of spiciness to the dish. Plan a few weeks ahead so that you can pickle the eggs before you need them.
If you haven’t tried ceviche before, this summer is a great time to start. Ceviche is a method of preparing seafood that uses the acid in citrus to “cook” the protein without using any heat. A refreshing appetizer, this salmon version combines lime, lemon, and orange juices for the marinating element. When you’re ready to serve, combine the salmon with a mixture of mango, cilantro, onion, and jalapeño. By using fresh ingredients, you’ll end up with a rainbow-coloured appetizer that features bold oranges, pinks, and greens. Use plantain chips for dipping to add an extra pop of sweetness.
A fun twist on the traditional Caprese salad, these watermelon and mozzarella bites are a refreshing, colourful treat for your guests this summer. Begin by reducing balsamic vinegar on the stovetop to bring out more of its sweet flavour and give it a syrupy consistency. Then arrange your watermelon, mozzarella, and basil however you like – you can use a melon-baller to make round bites of watermelon and combine with small mozzarella balls on skewers or try cutting/cubing chunks of the ingredients to stack on a platter. Drizzle the balsamic syrup on top, and sit back as your guests enjoy!
Fancy, colourful, delicious, and easy? That sounds like the perfect appetizer. These goat cheese balls are a crowd favourite and can add both sweet and savoury elements to your table. Start with honey goat cheese (or experiment with other flavours!) and slice into small discs. To make easy candied pecans, heat butter and brown sugar with the nuts for about 5 minutes, then pour out in a thin layer to cool on parchment paper. Once cooled, fold parchment in half and start pounding away at the nuts to crush into small pieces. Add some chopped cranberries and parsley to the mix, then coat each side of your goat cheese discs in the toppings. Roll into a ball and voila! A bite-sized treat for your party guests.
If you’d like a heartier appetizer for your guests this summer, try these colourful taco pinwheels. The golden-brown pastry, red tomatoes, and green cilantro garnish make a beautiful and filling offering. Start by letting your puff pastry defrost naturally on the counter (don’t rush this part!) while you cook the taco meat using your seasoning of choice. When the pastry is defrosted all the way, and your meat filling has thickened, layer the pastry with the meat, plenty of shredded cheese, tomatoes, and anything else you’d like! Roll it up tightly and slice, then bake for about 10 minutes. Serve with colourful dips to add to the fun!
For a sweet treat on your appetizer table, make some rainbow caramel corn to reflect the colours of the season (or match your party’s theme!). Start by making either stovetop or microwave popcorn, then divide into equal batches for each colour. Make your caramel in a nonstick pot by combining butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup; after the mixture boils, remove from the heat and quickly stir in baking soda, vanilla, and your colour of choice (gel food colours work best)! Pour caramel over each portion, then spread on a baking sheet to cook on low heat to set the caramel sauce. When everything is cool, mix up your colours and enjoy!
Whether you’re entertaining a crowd or having a small get-together in the backyard, these colourful appetizers are sure to impress!