9 Easy And Delicious Summer Appetizers

Summer may be winding down but there are still a few good weeks of grilling, picnicking, and taking-it-easy before we officially welcome fall. One of ways I like to enjoy the end of the summer is by spending as much time outside (and with family and friends) as possible; this means lots of casual outdoor eating based on quick, easy, and delicious recipes. Incorporating appetizers or small bites (especially ones that are self-serve or made ahead) into a picnic or barbecue can be a great way to get out of the kitchen and spend more time with friends and family.

Click here to see 9 Easy Summer Appetizers (Slideshow)

It's the perfect time of year to make easy summer appetizers the theme for this week's SWAT (Sharing With A Theme). We put the Culinary Content Network to the test to come up with their best recipes. Here are some of the highlights:

If you're intimidated by the idea of creating your own charcuterie board, you have to check out Lori Yates' (Foxes Love Lemons) super creative and easy Charcuterie Party Cups. She bakes wonton shells in a cupcake pan to make crunchy cups to hold cured meats, cheeses, and pickles.

Mary Cressler of Vindulge re-invents classic bruschetta with her easy Brisket Bruschetta recipe. She tops toasty slices of baguette with shredded, leftover barbecue brisket (or leftover pulled pork) and crème fraîche, making a quick and delicious appetizer. 

The winner this week is Divine Cuisine's Anna Voloshyna with her Breaded Zucchini with Basil Mayonnaise. This recipe uses lots of seasonal ingredients like zucchini, tomato, and basil, looks beautiful, and is easy enough for cooks of all skill levels to make.

All of the recipes featured can be made at home for about $20 or less, excluding the cost of small amounts of basic ingredients such as butter, oil, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and other dried herbs and spices.

Summer Peach Salsa

(Credit: Diane Balch/Simple Living and Eating)
Looking for a way to take advantage of summer peaches? Try adding them to salsa like Diane Balch does; the sweetness perfectly balances the heat of the jalapeño pepper. Click here to see the Summer Peach Salsa recipe.

Spicy Mediterranean Bites

(Credit: Kimberly Henricks/Rhubarb and Honey)
These small bites are salty, spicy, creamy, crunchy perfection. Best of all, Kimberly's Spicy Mediterranean Bites can be made a few hours ahead and stored in the fridge. Click here to get the recipe.

Click here to see more Easy Summer Appetizers

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.