We challenged two prestigious groups — Chopped judges and Food Network Star winners — to a summer recipe showdown. All season long, we’ll present head-to-head matchups of mouthwatering summer recipes from each team — from refreshing cocktails to fresh farmers’-market salads to the juiciest backyard burgers. By voting each week here on FN Dish or on our Fan Feed, you’ll determine the winning recipes.
At the end of the summer, the team that tallies up the most wins will celebrate with an all-star Labor Day party menu. Who will prevail as Summer Showdown champion — Star or Chopped?
This week, lightened-up appetizers are on the menu. Aarti Sequeira and Alex Guarnaschelli are facing off with their best flavor-packed, better-for-you party starters. Whose will you serve at your next summer party? Cast your votes below!
Aarti’s oven-baked appetizers are a crowd-pleasing alternative to fried jalapeno poppers. She fills halved peppers with light cream cheese, scallions and apples, then wraps each bite with a bit of bacon.
“I like the idea of a wrap for summer because it’s really light and fun to eat,” Alex says. Here, she fills cups of Bibb lettuce with shrimp tossed in lemony vinaigrette and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts.