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Poolside Appetizers

Summer is one of my favorite times to have friends over for a visit and a dip in the pool. Kids have something to do and adults are always more relaxed knowing they don’t have to chase the kids around!

When I’m planning my menu, I like to consider the fact that most people will be coming in and out of the pool and don’t want to be bothered with “fussy” food, food that requires a lot of utensils, or heavy or greasy food. Since there will probably be children, I like to offer them the same or similar foods that the adults eat.

Fire up your grill and make grilled pizzas with an assortment of toppings such as:

  • kalamata olives
  • roasted red and yellow peppers
  • prosciutto
  • goat cheese
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
  • fresh tomato sauce
  • basil leaves
  • shaved asparagus
  • grilled eggplant
  • sautéed spinach
  • toasted pine nuts
  • thinly sliced purple onions
  • cooked cubed bbq chicken

Another easy option is white pizza, which is simply grilled pizza dough garnished with a drizzle of good olive oil, a handful of fresh arugula, a few grinds of fresh black pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Skewers of cold watermelon cubes with fresh mint and lime juice. You could even hollow out small bowls of watermelon and serve your favorite ceviche in this fun edible container.

Sticky Japanese rice balls filled with cooked shelled edamame, and rolled in toasted black sesame seeds or furikake (a combination of black sesame seeds and dried seaweed) with a sesame soy dipping sauce.

Cold sesame noodles loaded with thinly sliced snow peas, edamame, scallions, cilantro, julienned carrots, thinly sliced cucumber, and a few cashews or peanuts for crunch. Make a simple dressing with:

  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • Toss with the noodles and serve chilled in take-out containers.

Empanadas are always a fun pool food that are delicious eaten at room temperature.

And for dessert, keep it simple with little mixed berry crumble in a jar using small glass mason jars. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Or try my favorite lemon blueberry ice cream sandwiches. These should be made ahead, and you can use premade lemon shortbread cookies and blueberry ice cream.

Eat, Drink, Party!