It’s July!  While we’re thinking in red, white and blue, we want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen and to keep it cool.

Here are a trio of appetizers in red, white and blue that are healthy, no bake and quick and easy to make.

The fresh tomato and basil topping usually appears on slices of toasted garlic Italian bread known as bruschetta. In the spirit of celebration, I serve the fresh tomato and basil topping on puff pastry stars.

The white bean hummus, comes together quickly in a food processor and is great on toasted pita chips.

The red white and blue salsa is colorful and refreshing.  Spread some on the puff pastry or pita stars or use as a condiment with fish or chicken.

I like to accompany my red white and blue appetizers with a pitcher of lemonade or, better yet—white sangria.  Make sure to drop some handfuls of red white and blue fruits into the pitcher before pouring.

Happy Fourth of July!


Fresh Tomato and Basil Topping

  •  Fresh basil—one handful, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, put through a garlic press
  • 6 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until well combined.

Serve the fresh tomato topping on garlic bread or puff pastry stars.


White Bean Hummus

  •  19-ounce can white beans, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, put through a garlic press
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • juice of one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine all the above ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.   If desired, add some more water or olive oil to get desired consistency.


Red White and Blue Salsa

For the dressing:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, put through a garlic press
  • pinch of salt

For the salsa:

  • 1 ½  cups blueberries
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 2 Asian pears, peeled and diced
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives

Combine all the dressing ingredients.  Set aside.

When ready to serve, combine the salsa ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Pour the dressing over the salsa ingredients and toss gently.

Serve as a condiment with grilled fish or chicken.  Or, serve as an appetizer on tortilla chips.