Although most of us are still trying to power through finals, summer is right around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about that summer kick-off holiday, Memorial Day. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or attending one, there’s always some cooking involved. The following recipes are quick and easy, yet delicious appetizers for this sunny summer day!
1. Mini Brie and Apple Quiches (Courtesy of EatingWell.com)
- 30 (two 1 9/10-ounce packages) mini phyllo shells
- 1/2 medium apple, peeled and finely diced
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground pepper
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces (1/2 small wheel) Brie, cut into 30 squares
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Arrange phyllo shells on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide apple among the shells.
3. Whisk eggs, mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a large measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture over the apple (do not overfill the shells). Place a Brie square in each shell.
4. Bake until eggs are set, the Brie is melted, and the phyllo is starting to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
2. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Flatbreads (Courtesy of TastofHome.com)
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tube (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon parsley, chives, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper until blended.
2. Unroll pizza crust and cut in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion into a 12-in. x 6-in. rectangle; brush each side with oil. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from the grill.
3. Spread grilled sides with cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese; top with tomatoes. Return to the grill. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is melted, rotating halfway through cooking to ensure an evenly browned crust. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Yield: 2 flatbreads (12 servings each).
3. Balsamic Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad (Courtesy of TastofHome.com)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups balsamic vinegar, divided
- 3 medium yellow summer squash, quartered and cut into 1-inch slices
- 3 medium zucchini, quartered and cut into 1-inch slices
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup quick-cooking barley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine oil, salt and 1/4 cup vinegar. Add yellow squash, zucchini and tomatoes; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder and remaining vinegar. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Discard thyme and rosemary; set glaze aside.
3. In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in barley. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until barley is tender.
4. Meanwhile, drain vegetables and discard marinade. Place vegetables in a grill wok or basket. Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 8-12 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently and brushing occasionally with glaze.
5. Remove barley from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Add vegetables and basil; toss to coat. Serve warm with a slotted spoon. Yield: 9 servings.
4. Homemade Guacamole Dip
- 3 avocados – peeled, pitted and mashed
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- Tortilla Chips (duh!)
In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.
5. Couscous Salad with Zucchini and Roasted Almonds (Courtesy of FoodandWine.com)
- 2 cups couscous
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 1 1/2 cups finely diced zucchini
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup chopped roasted almonds
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- Crushed red pepper, for seasoning
1. Pour 2 cups boiling water over the couscous; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Boil the peas in 1/2 cup water for 1 minute. Drain the peas, reserving 1/4 cup of the water.
3. In a skillet, sauté the zucchini in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until crisp about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and let cool to room temperature.
4. In a small bowl, mix the reserved pea cooking water with the lemon juice and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Fluff the couscous and pour this dressing on top.
5. Stir in the zucchini, peas, almonds, scallions, parsley and mint. Season with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.
These appetizer recipes are all classy and healthy ways to start of your summer on Memorial Day Weekend! They are simple to make and packed with fresh, summery vegetables.
For more Memorial Day BBQ ideas, check out the following CL articles: