I love summer for many reasons—not the least of which is that it simplifies entertaining.
In winter I feel that my guests must be rewarded for schlepping through the snow with warm, solid food and a relatively clean house.
In summer I feel no such obligation. The weather and the sparkling conversation are my friends’ rewards for coming to visit of an evening.
I tend to specialize in two types of summer evening parties. One is a dessert party, usually a sundae party. Guests help themselves to ice cream with a variety of toppings and chat as they juggle dishes, spoons, and smiles.
The other is a cocktail party. I adorn the deck with a table topped with glasses plus wine, beer, liquor, ice, and soft drinks. (Fresh flowers help, too.) And I serve simple yet tasty appetizers.
I don’t even have to clean the house before these parties because my guests won’t be inside!
Even if you don’t entertain a lot, I suggest you try throwing a cocktail party—or even just a wine/beer party—or even just a lemonade party! Offer your guests something cool to drink and a light snack; then sit back and enjoy the long summer evening.
Teri makes her caviar look a lot prettier than mine by chopping everything up finely and arranging the dish artistically. Last time I made it I was in a hurry so my chopping was rough and my arrangement (pictured above) was … well, let’s just say it was free form.
My guests loved the caviar anyway. In fact, my neighbor Alice took home the leftovers and ate them for lunch the next day.
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces ripe olives, drained and chopped (feel free to use more; I usually throw in the whole can!)
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 pinches of salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
4 to 5 shakes of hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch of pepper
1 8-ounce package cream cheese—regular or light–softened
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 scallion, sliced
In a bowl combine all the ingredients except for the cream cheese, eggs, and scallion. Cover the mixture and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. When you are ready to serve your caviar spread the cream cheese over the surface of a circular serving dish. Spread the bean mixture on top of it.
Arrange the egg pieces in a ring around the edge of the plate (the effect is sort of that of a wreath). Sprinkle the chopped scallion overall. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips. Serves 8 to 12, depending on what else is on the table.
Tags: Cowboy Caviar, Easy Appetizers, Marinated Bean Dip, Teri Tynes