Peppers: Ring My Bell

Sliced, diced or whipped into a tasty paste, peppers give your hors d'oeuvres (and your party) a colorful kick.

Salsa-Topped Tortilla Chips

Mix together 1 finely chopped red bell pepper, 1 cubed avocado, 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Spoon onto tortilla chips.

salsa tortilla chips

Hawaiian Stacks

Stir 1/2 cup drained canned crushed pineapple into 6 ounces softened cream cheese. Place a 1-inch square of delisliced ham on a 1-inch square of yellow bell pepper and top with 1/2 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture; repeat the layers. Spear each stack with a toothpick. Repeat as desired.

Hawaiian Stacks

Shrimp Satay Bites

Mix 1 tablespoon soy sauce into 1 cup peanut butter. Spread 1/2 teaspoon on 2-inch squares of orange bell pepper. Cut medium-size cooked shrimp in half and place cut side down on each square. Garnish with sliced scallions.

Striped Bocconcini

Thinly slice a roasted red pepper lengthwise. Arrange two strips to form an "X." Place the bocconcini on the "X." Pull the ends of the strips over the bocconcini to meet in the center. Spear a toothpick through a basil leaf, then through the strips and the cheese to secure. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Repeat as desired.

Striped Bocconcini

Roasted Red Pepper Toasts

Puree 4 roasted red peppers with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Spread 2 teaspoons puree on toasted baguette slices and garnish with coarsely grated parmesan cheese.