Appetizers and Small Plates

Mexican sushi - beans, avocado, cheese

Mexican Sushi

If you love Mexican food and you love sushi, why not put them together? Granted, this creation is a loose application of the word sushi, but you get the idea—they’re bite-size roll-ups of bean, cheese, and avocado goodness! Similar to that addictive umami flavor of sushi, these roll-ups pack a ton of flavor, especially if you use a flavored tortilla: spicy salsa balanced by creamy avocado; the heartiness of the beans balanced by the freshness of lime juice and cilantro; and the crunchy topping balanced by the lusciously smooth filling.

These roll-ups make a fun appetizer for entertaining. Or, make them into a meal by adding a side of chips and salsa and a simple quesadilla. Ole!

Vegetarian Mexican “Sushi”

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Greek nachos

Greek Nachos with Homemade Garlic Hummus

This dish is great for entertaining or as a single-serving supper. The garlic in the hummus, the brininess of the Kalamata olives, the saltiness of the feta—I love working with these classic Greek flavors because each one packs a huge punch and work well together in each bite. Plus, they’re so easy to mix and match depending on what you like. That’s also why I didn’t bother listing exact amounts for most of the toppings in the ingredients list—you can add as much or as little as you like!

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Spicy, fried black bean sliders with avocado and tomato salsa.

Spicy Fried Mexican Dip Sliders with Avocado-Tomato Salsa

I don’t know about you, but a communal bowl of dip is at the top of my party phobia list. Double-dippers, the bits of other food that break off mid-dip or fall in because of cross-table reachers, and who knows how long that’s been sitting there…gross. I love a good spicy Mexican layer dip, but when it comes to entertaining or sharing, this recipe solves my problem of communal dipping (and the mess!). This recipe combines all your favorite layer dip elements–black beans, corn, onion, and jalapeno–into one smoky-sweet package that’s fried crispy to perfection and topped with a bright, creamy avocado-tomato salsa. Serve inside single scoop tortilla chips, and you’ll never want to share your Mexican dip ever again.

Spicy Fried Sweet Corn-Black Bean Dip Sliders with Avocado-Tomato Salsa

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Crostini with tomato-basil and ricotta pea smash

Crostini Two Ways: Creamy Ricotta-Pea and Fresh Tomato Basil

Warm weather on the way signals two important things for me: Saturday visits to the farmers’ market for fresh vegetables and the smell of herbs growing in my balcony garden. Make the most of fresh locally grown tomatoes and herbs with this super easy and flavorful appetizer that’s perfect for entertaining. Beware: they’re dangerously addictive.

Tomato-Basil and Ricotta-Pea Crostini

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Grown-up Spicy Chicken Fries

Grown-up Spicy Chicken Fries

Sometimes, when you just need to feel like a kid again, nothing does the trick better than chicken fingers and French fries. This recipe combines the two into one nostalgia-inducing snack, but add some spice and presentation, and you can pass it off as a classy appetizer. No judgment here. Everyone will love it.

Spicy Chicken Fries

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Polenta With Caprese Salad

As Satisfying as a Perfectly Placed Semi-Colon…

… that’s how amazing this recipe is. Oooooh, I bet your mouth is watering now. The components of this recipe can stand alone, but together, they make a satisfying bite. Each forkful is a total package deal when you get a piece of the nutty polenta cake, the peppery greens, the burst of acidity from the tomato, and, of course, the luscious melty mozzarella cheese.

Crispy Parmesan Polenta Cakes With Caprese Salad

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