My friend Mary served these lovely appetizers at a summer gathering several years ago, and I adapted it a bit to my taste. It's a great August recipe when tomatoes and herbs are at their freshest! —Susan Wilson, Milwaukee, WI
It's believed the Greeks served cheesecake at the first Olympics, so why not rewrite history with a Greek cheesecake appetizer? Ingredients in this version "tame" the Kalamata olives, so even if you shy away from Kalamatas, you'll be glad you tried this one. For a milder flavor, use the more common black or green olives. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California
This easy hummus from Josephine Devereaux Piro of Easton, Pennsylvania is flavored with garlic and lemon, but has a delicious nuttiness from tahini. “I love the kick the tahini gives this hummus,” she says.
This quick and easy dip begins with purchased hummus. It's then flavored with the Mediterranean flavors of feta cheese, olives and lemon.
—Patterson Watkins, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tip: You can make homemade pita chips by cutting a package of pita bread into wedges. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; store in an airtight container.
"A real crowd-pleaser" is how Christine Halandras, from Meeker, Colorado, describes her baked spinach appetizer."Plus, it's so nice to make ahead of time," she adds. "You can quickly reheat it later or even serve it cold." The recipe makes a delicious vegetable entree or side dish, too—just cut the pieces into larger squares.
When entertaining, I rely on this make-ahead dish that's full of peppers, eggplant and zucchini. Low on sodium, it gets its delicious flair from garlic, basil and thyme. We like it on homemade bagel chips.
—Margaret Potempa of Oshkosh, Wisconsin
I'm a big fan of hummus, and for this version, I upped the garlic and substituted cannellini beans for the usual garbanzo beans to please my husband. The homemade chips come out of the oven slightly crisp and chewy. —Nicole Clayton, Prescott, Arizona