Tomato Appetizers — Summer Fest

By: Victoria Phillips

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tomato crostini

Appetizers of Toast and Tomatoes at Ted Allens Party

It's week four of our season-long garden party, Summer Fest 2011, where we welcome food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. So far, we've delved into cucumbers and peaches

As summer’s stifling heat slowly gives way to fall’s refreshing breezes, throw an outside dinner party with tomatoes front and center.

It's the perfect time to showcase meaty summer tomatoes, dripping with succulent juice and pulpy seeds, in simple appetizers your guests will surely want seconds of.

Start off simple with Rachael’s Tomato and Shrimp Salad With Horseradish Dressing. Large beefsteak tomatoes brighten the plate, while the shrimp adds a heartiness that isn’t overly filling. Whip up Giada’s Calamari, Tomato and Caper Salad in 20 minutes or less for a dish that’s simply executed with lots of fresh lemon, salt and pepper.

Try Ted’s Crostini With Thyme-Roasted Tomatoes (pictured above) for a beautiful starter of plum tomatoes atop thin baguettes sprinkled with olive oil. Add some garlic and fried sage for Food Network Magazine’s Garlic-Sun-Dried Tomato Bruschetta. Both are flavorful and bite-sized, making snacking a cinch.

Emeril’s Stuffed Tomatoes are a hearty classic. Filled with goat cheese, basil, parsley, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts, you can’t go wrong making these savory tomatoes as an appetizer.

Switch things up and try some hot apps like Ina’s Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts. Enclosed in a flaky puff pastry, bite into a luscious mix of tomato, cheese, garlic, white wine and thyme. Or try Paula’s Tomato Canapés in mini phyllo shells. Don’t let their petite size fool you -- these little guys pack lots of tomato flavor. Sprinkle with bacon pieces for a salty-sweet finish.

Talk to us: What’s your favorite way to eat tomatoes? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter at #cookingwith.

More tomato recipes from family and friends:

What's Gaby Cooking: Zebra Tomato and Burrata Crostini

Glory Foods: Fresh Tomato Salsa
Dishin and Dishes: Tomato Tart Tatin
I Am Mommy: Tomato Crudite
Sweet Life Bake: Salsa Cruda

The Sensitive Epicure: Yemista - Greek Stuffed Tomatoes & Peppers with Potatoes

Mooshu Jenne: Sun Burst Tomato Pasta
Cooking With Elise: Tomato Parmesan Biscuits

From My Corner of Saratoga: Cooking from the Garden - Bruschetta Pizza

Fritos and Foie Gras: Tomato Terrine
Creative Culinary: Fresh and Savory Tomato Pie
Spices and Aroma: Quick and Easy Paneer Curry

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