Provençal Vegetable Tart
Before she opened Vergennes Laundry, Julianne Jones sold savory tarts at the local farmers' market. This one is made with the vegetables that are in ratatouille.
Squash Blossoms with Pimento Ricotta
Leigh Magar loves the fresh taste of edible flowers. For her, Matt Lee and Ted Lee created a new version of a Tuscan classic, fried squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta. They mix the ricotta with pimentos—an homage to pimento cheese, a Southern favorite—and serve the blossoms raw.
Chef Steven Satterfield says you can use any assortment of radishes for these toasts, like watermelon, pink beauty, cherry belle or d'Avignon. If you slice the radishes ahead of time, keep them in a bowl of ice water, which makes them extra cold and crispy.
These luscious little tarts are filled with fresh ricotta. The trick to making the cheese silky is to puree it before spreading it on the flaky pastry and topping it with oven-roasted tomatoes.
Mustard Green–and–Sweet Onion Frittata
Although high in cholesterol, eggs are a terrific source of bone-building vitamins D and K. Gabe Thompson combines them with nutrient-rich mustard greens in this healthy frittata.
Stuffed Baby Peppers with Yogurt and Floral Honey
"Honey is an incredible anti-everything," says Jovial King. "It's antibacterial, antiviral and great for combating allergies, as long as it's raw." Marcia Kiesel uses King's flower-infused honey in savory dishes, like these yogurt-stuffed peppers.
Bruschetta with Mozzarella and Smashed Fresh Favas
Puréed fava beans make for a quick and delicious bruschetta topping, especially when paired with slices of fresh mozzarella.
Crispy Kale with Lemon-Yogurt Dip
"I like the idea of making a healthy kind of potato chip that's not one of those packaged, dehydrated vegetable chips," Seamus Mullen says. He roasts kale with extra-virgin olive oil and garlic until it's crunchy.
Baked Sweet Potato and Tempeh Empanadas
Tempeh has a long way to go before it becomes as popular as other soy products, but its wonderfully firm texture and versatility make it an excellent protein source. Here, it’s a stand-in for ground meat in a vegan baked empanada.
Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese
Switzerland has been making Sbrinz—a hard, aged, cow's-milk cheese—for centuries. Daniel Humm uses the pleasantly salty Sbrinz to top a gratin made with a ratatouille-like mix of sautéed zucchini strips, bell peppers and tomato. Parmigiano-Reggiano, another hard, aged, cow's milk cheese, is a fine substitute.
You also can make the croquettes larger for a vegetarian main course.
Mozzarella with Summer Squash and Olive Puree
This dish from chef Mathieu Perez is a take on the classic Italian mozzarella-tomato-basil Caprese salad. It depends on young, very fresh zucchini and summer squash. To prepare the recipe like Perez, grate the olives finely with a Microplane grater instead of pureeing them.
Goat CheeseStuffed Mushrooms with Bread Crumbs
Goat's-milk cheeses are typically lower in cholesterol, calories and fat—and higher in calcium—than cow's-milk ones. Here, creamy chèvre is stuffed into antioxidant-rich mushrooms and topped with crispy herbed bread crumbs.
This basic bruschetta recipe can be topped with endless combinations of ingredients.
Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomato Salad
Chopped red, green and orange tomatoes are tossed with olive oil and herbs, then served on Parmesan tuiles. The result: a supremely colorful, incredibly easy hors d'oeuvre.
Palestinian Spinach Pies
The spinach filling in these fatayer, inspired by a recipe from Palestinian-born baker Maha Ziadeh, isn't flavored with feta, as it is in the more common Greek spinach pies. Instead, it's spiked with lemon and sumac, a tangy Middle Eastern spice. Ziadeh forms the pies into a triangle, but the half-moon shape here is simpler to do.
Summer Radishes with Chèvre, Nori and Smoked Salt
In this very simple appetizer, Jeremy Fox combines slivers of nori with bits of goat cheese—a clever, tantalizing mix of salty and creamy—then serves the dish with radishes and a sprinkle of smoked salt.
Hazelnut Profiteroles with Blue Cheese and Grapes
Shawn McClain pokes a hole in the sides of his savory cream puffs when they come out of the oven to release the steam, then fills them with a creamy mixture of blue cheese and mascarpone.
Herbed Zucchini Feta Fritters
"When I was a kid, my mom fried zucchini fritters when I got home from school; I would steal a couple while they were still hot," says Didem Senol. "When I started cooking, I decided to work on my childhood recipe. I added herbs and feta and reduced the amount of flour to make them fluffier."
Easy Hummus with Tahini
Hummus can do more than cling to a carrot stick. Grace Parisi's sublime version adds nutty flavor to potato salad, eggs and soup.
Tomato Salsa with Cucumber "Chips"
This healthy take on the traditional chips-and-salsa combo is nearly fat-free and super-refreshing. The antioxidant-rich salsa is delicious served right after it's made, but the flavors meld nicely after a day or two in the refrigerator.
Gerard Craft likes using extremely fresh ricotta cheese for his toasts. He tops the cheese with sautéed asparagus that he tosses with fresh lemon juice, which brightens the flavors considerably.