3 Easy Summer Appetizers: Onion Ricotta Tarts, Baked Brie and Homemade Salsa

Remember that delicious Lobster Boil I recently made? Well, here are the recipes I used for the appetizers. They all turned out perfectly and were easy to make. It’s a bonus if you have any of the ingredients growing in the backyard! We planted two tomato plants this year and they’ve taken off like weeds, so I used them for the salsa!


The appetizers I made were Caramelized Onion Ricotta Tarts, Baked Brie with Balsamic Strawberries, and Homemade Salsa and Artisan Black Bean Chips. You can make the salsa ahead of time but the tarts and Brie should be made close to when your guests are arriving.


Caramelized Onion Ricotta Tarts from Savory Sweet Life

Serves 8-12 (or 6 if you have hungry guests!)

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 med-large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat.

Add the onions, white wine, sugar, thyme, salt and pepper and cook the onions until softened and golden brown.

While the onions are caramelizing, combine the Ricotta cheese and egg in a small bowl and set aide.

Unfold puff pastry sheets on a large cookie sheet making sure both sheets connect in the middle of the pan.

Gently fold in each side of the puff pastry sheets approximately 1 inch.

Spread the Ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the puff pastry and lightly sprinkle most of the Parmesan cheese on top.

Add the caramelized onions evenly over the cheese mixture and top the tart off by sprinkling any remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown.

Cut into small pieces for appetizers.


Baked Brie with Balsamic Strawberries from Spoonful of Flavor

Serves 6

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries cut into large chunks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8 ounce round of Brie

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the strawberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook stirring occasionally while the juices cook down slightly and the strawberries soften, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove packing from Brie round. Slice the top rind off of the top of the Brie. Return the Brie round to the bottom of its wooden packaging container. Place on a baking sheet and bake 7 minutes. Top with balsamic strawberries and bake an additional 3 minutes. Serve with bread or crackers.


Homemade Salsa from Cooking Classy

Makes about 5 cups

  • 6 ripe Roma tomatoes (about 1 1/4 lbs), halved
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with green chilis, undrained
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into 5 pieces, stem removed
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (about a handful)
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and chop until all ingredients are finely chopped. Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor finely chop veggies then pour into a mixing bowl, add canned tomatoes, lime juice, chili powder, cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste and stir. Serve with tortilla chips. My favorite are Artisan Black Bean Tortilla Chips. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.


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Michelle is a wife, stepmom, law student, aviation sales professional, child advocate and most importantly a wine lover. She resides in the Bay Area and while cooking every night for her family, she enjoys discovering new wines and revisiting the ones that her palette loved! Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest and stay tuned for more wine raves and reviews!


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