Roasted red peppers and fresh herbs basil, chive and thyme add notes of sweetness, licorice and a hint of peppery finish in ways that will surprise you. Add a drizzle of oil just before serving, and pass the pita chips. —Laura Julian, Amanda, Ohio
This easy and elegant appetizer from Rebecca Irons in Lubbock, Texas has only four ingredients! “I first tasted something similar at a cheese shop,” she says. “Most any chutney flavor will work—from pineapple or mango to onion—for a toasty, melt-in-your-mouth treat on chilly days.”
Mary Steiner of West Bend, Wisconsin shares a make-ahead cracker spread that showcases thyme and garlic. "A neighbor who has an herb garden gave me the recipe," Mary writes. "It's simple to stir up and makes a special appetizer for company. It's also fun to serve at a party."
I made this creamy spread with my students and it was a big success. It is easy to make and the flavor contrasts make it interesting. Toasty bread slices are the perfect compliment.
Paula Englert, Louisville, Kentucky
Made to resemble a beach ball, this appetizer always rounds up compliments. It's filled with a variety of cheese, and each cut through the ball gives guests a taste along with garnishes of their choice.—Florence McClelland, Fredonia, New York
Dill and garlic go well with the tang of feta in this cheese ball...in fact, I think it tastes like a million bucks. It's super easy to do and since the recipe makes two, it's ideal for gatherings.—Kelly Yeager, Hahnville, Louisiana