Summer Entertaining: Citrus Peach & Balsamic Tomato Bruschettas.

It is easy to make appetizers an afterthought when hosting a summer party where the main course gets all your attention. Instead of pouring chips in a bowl and calling it a day, put some thought into your appetizers—your guests will thank you! I can’t tell you how many main courses I've forgotten from parties I've attended, but a platter filled with exciting and thoughtful appetizers always sticks in my memory. Bruschetta + Frosty party recipes ahead!..

summer peaches..

Bruschetta is one of my favorite summer appetizers. It is super-easy for me to prepare, but my wide variety of bruschetta toppings gives my guests enough variety. I love a traditional tomato, basil, garlic and onion bruschetta topping, but I get creative and top toasted bread with a variety of ingredients. Here are some bruschetta topping variations to try:
  • Diced Avocado + Lime + Cilantro + splash of EVOO = Guac Bruschetta
  • Diced Peaches + Diced Orange + Chili Salt + Lime Zest + splash of Walnut Oil = Summer Orchard Bruschetta (recipe below)
  • Butter Beans + Balsamic + Basil (lightly mashed together) = Balsamic Butter Bean
  • Mashed Sweet Potato + Maple Syrup + Cinnamon = Maple Sweet Potato Bruschetta
  • Diced Tomato + Diced Red Onion + Balsamic + Pepper = Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta (recipe below)
  • Diced Peach + Diced Apricot + EVOO + Orange Juice = Sweet Orchard Bruschetta
  • Diced Bell Pepper + Basil + Diced Tomato = Bell Basil Bruschetta
Those are just a few of the bruschetta possibilities! You can easily take your favorite summer produce and turn it into a creative bruschetta appetizer.

Bruschetta Recipes:

Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta
1 cup tomato, diced
½ cup red onion, diced
2 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
a few dashes of black pepper
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Summer Orchard Bruschetta
1 cup peaches, diced
1 cup naval orange, diced
1 Tbsp lime juice + pinch of lime zest
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
chili salt to taste

Bread: Any variety of toasted bread works. Crusty French or sourdough is my favorite. You can toast or grill the bread rounds. Brush with EVOO before grilling if desired.

Directions: Toast/grill bread rounds and set aside. Toss the bruschetta ingredients together and pile on top of bread. Serve! Tip: You can make your bruschetta toppings ahead of time and allow to marinate overnight if needed.

Drinks: Blend a Frosty!

My favorite summertime beverage to pair with my bruschetta—especially on a hot summer evening—is a melon frosty. Melon frosties can be made using cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon or another favorite melon. You can even add alcohol, if you want.

Making a frosty is simple and quick. Remove the melon's flesh from its rind, chop it, and then freeze it in a plastic bag or freezer-friendly container until you're ready to use it. Then blend the frozen melon with a small amount of liquid and an optional banana for creaminess. The result is a super icy, refreshing beverage that your guests will rave about.

One thing to keep in mind when planning to serve frosties: they do need to be blended close to serving time—they will melt if left sitting around waiting for someone to grab them. You can store blended frosties in the freezer for up to 20 minutes before they start to get too frozen to serve. And left out, they should be consumed within 10 minutes of blending to prevent melting. If you are a very hands-on party host, you could simply blend frosties to order—you can even get your guests to help you out so they can pick up a fun smoothie technique to try at home.

My favorite frosties:
Watermelon Lime
Cantaloupe Ginger
Lemonade Honeydew

Drink Recipe:

Lemonade Honeydew Frosty
1/2 cup Lemonade
1/2 banana
3 cups honeydew cubes, frozen
1-2 Tbsp lime juice (optional)

Add all ingredients to blender and blend from low to high until smooth. This recipe is easiest with a high-speed blender. If you are using a basic blender, you may want to allow melon to thaw a bit before attempting to blend, or add more liquid if needed. Serve with a garnish of lavender and lime or lemon! Tip: Try infusing your lemonade with herbs like lavender!

Also check out last year's Summer Entertaining recipes + video I did with Gena!

This post is part of the BlogHer Summer Entertaining series, which includes 100 percent editorial content presented by a participating sponsor. Recipes/content by me. This post is sponsored by Home Depot and BlogHer.

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