Make Ahead Appetizers- Flavors of Summer

I had a small cocktail party for my husband’s new co-workers and since it was from 6 to 8 pm I had to come up with some hardy appetizers, especially since they were mostly men. I also wanted to find make ahead appetizers so I could socialize instead of being stuck in the kitchen. I am sharing two of the recipes today that are great make ahead choices and share the flavors of summer too.

I will be sharing several tomato recipes this summer as we have a prolific grape tomato plant growing in our garden.  Our other larger tomato plants are being attacked by squirrels and I am finding more on the ground half eaten than on my plates….Love any suggestions.

bruchetta2 make ahead appetizer


Our first make ahead appetizer is Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta by Barefoot Contessa.  You can make the whipped feta a few days in advance.  I also bought pre-made toasted bread at Fresh Market to save time.  

bruchetta make ahead

You can toast the pine nuts and make the tomato mixture an hour before serving.  We had leftovers and it was just as good the next day.



Just before the guests arrived I assembled these flavorful appetizers. 

bruchetta 1 make ahead appetizer



The next make ahead recipe shares the flavor of summer figs and salty prosciutto.  If you figs are sweet and fresh, just wrap them in the prosciutto and serve.  I tasted on before serving this and they needed to be roasted.

make ahead

 You can wrap the halved figs hours before your guests arrive and store them in the fridge in a sealed container.  The recipe suggests serving them warm, but with a buffet style party, that was not possible.

figs2 make ahead

What are your favorite summertime make ahead appetizers?

Tomato crostini with whipped Feta
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  1. 6 ounces good feta, crumbled
  2. 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  3. 2/3 cup good olive oil, divided
  4. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots)
  7. 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  8. 2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
  9. 2 pounds ripe heirloom or cherry tomatoes, 1/2-inch-diced
  10. 3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
  11. 20 to 25 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal baguette slices, toasted
  12. 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  1. For the whipped feta, place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.
  2. For the tomatoes, up to an hour before you're serving, combine the shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the tomatoes, stir gently, and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and taste for seasonings.
  3. To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Put the crostini on plates and scatter with the pine nuts. Sprinkle with extra basil and serve.
  1. You can make the whipped feta a day or two in advance
Adapted from Ina Garten Barefoot contessa
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Roasted Figs in Proscuitto
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  1. 20 figs, large fresh ripe
  2. 20 slices prosciutto, thin ( about 8 ounces)
  3. 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Snip the hard stems off the figs and cut the figs in half lengthwise through the stem. With a small sharp knife, cut the prosciutto lengthwise into inch-wide strips. Wrap a strip of prosciutto around the center of each fig half, with the ends overlapping. Brush with olive oil and arrange cut side up on a sheet pan.
  3. Roast the figs for 10 minutes, until the prosciutto is a little crisp and the figs are warmed through. Serve warm.
Adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
Adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
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About Maria @ Close to Home

A forty something Mom who enjoys cooking, crafting, entertaining and traveling. I love sharing our adventures and sharing family friendly products to make your day to day easier too.


  1. Looks delicious!

  2. I am absolutely in LOVE with fresh bruschetta in the summertime. I often have a dinner that is simply bruschetta piled high on gluten-free toast with a side of olives and a hard-boiled egg. Kind of my own take on a Mediterranean plate (veggie, because I’m vegetarian). Delicious, refreshing, and amazing flavour! Love this, thank you!

  3. Yum.. I love these! Looks like a great recipe for the holidays that’ll be coming VERY soon. :)

  4. Hi Maria, these appetizers look so yummy. I am going to pin them. Thanks for sharing and I will try them the next party that I have.

  5. I’ve never had bruscetta with feta cheese, but that sounds great! YUM!

  6. I. Love. Feta. It’s awesome.

  7. Yum!! What time should we be over for the party?? :)

  8. They look so yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

  9. That looks so good!!! I’m on my way over!

  10. These both look delicious and I love that they can be prepped ahead of time. Pinning this!

  11. Your tomato crostini with whipped feta looks so delicious! Great choices for some hearty appetizers everyone could get into.

  12. I am not a fan of Prosciutto but the tomato appetizers look and sound really tasty!!

  13. Yummy! Thanks so much for sharing-pinning this!

  14. Oooh! These are my two favorite kinds of appetizers. Thanks so much for the recipes!

  15. I’ll have to go with the bruscetta! I am not a fig fan, although I would definitely eat the prosciutto!

  16. Roasted Figs in Prosciutto-I just can’t get enough of that appetizer! I also love Deviled Eggs.