1. Yay for Crudités
Make this recipe: Carrot-Cumin Muhammara
This delicious Middle Eastern dip is traditionally made with red peppers and walnuts. Carrots add color—and a hit of sweetness—to this version.
’Tis the season for pretty produce! Grab the best-looking veggies and some premade Mediterranean treats, then pair it all with this sweet-savory nutty dip.
Mix up textures by using raw, roasted, and grilled veggies. While you have the grill going, throw on some Halloumi. The firm cheese brings a little protein to the party. To make this veggie plate feel like a meal, pick up salad-bar snacks like stuffed grape leaves or tabbouleh (pile it into lettuce leaves).
2. Tapas Tray
Make this recipe: Tortilla Española with Pimientos
In Spain, grazing is a way of life, and no snacking sesh is complete without tortilla española, the country’s (potato-laden) version of a frittata. Wash it all down with some sherry or red wine.
Pan con tomate is essentially the Spaniard’s avocado smash. Rub toast with a cut garlic clove and the juicy part of a halved tomato (discard the skin). Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with salt. Done!
You can also dress up jarred veggies from your pantry: Drain roasted red peppers, season, and top with chopped parsley; or warm olives in a pan with a splash of gin or vermouth.
And one final pro-tip: Cheeses and cured meats taste best at room temp, so take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving.
3. Chicken & Fixin's
Make this recipe: Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Strips
Crispy, crunchy homemade chicken strips anchor this platter. Surround it with Southern-style nibbles, then dig on in, y’all!
For this tray, it’s A-OK to serve store-bought buttery crackers, premade pimento cheese, jarred pickled things, and freezer-aisle biscuits and waffle fries. Celery, cucumber sticks, and tomatoes of all shapes and sizes help veg up this platter.
Mix honey with crushed red pepper and you’ve got a spicy-sweet dipping sauce for the chicken. (Psst…it’s great on biscuits, too.)