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Quick Shrimp Scampi

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Many scampi recipes involve cooking the shrimp with the other ingredients. You can do that here, too, but the benefit of cooking the shrimp separately is twofold: it's easier not to overcook them, and you can whisk in the butter to create a smooth, emulsified sauce. Serve as an appetizer or as a main course with rice, orzo or your favorite grain, spooning the garlicky sauce over everything. It's also great with crusty bread. Excerpted from The Dinner Plan by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, published by ABRAMS © 2017.

Muhammara

Muhammara is a smoky, hot and sweet red pepper dip that originated in Syria. A staple in Middle Eastern cooking, pomegranate molasses (a dark red syrup made from tart pomegranate juice) adds just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to this healthy recipe. Turn this easy dip into a full-blown appetizer spread (or dinner, we won't judge!) with the addition of some crudités, grilled eggplant and crackers for scooping. Pair it with a bubbly cava or other sparkling wine for an instant party.

Tomato, Mozzarella, Peach & Prosciutto Caprese Skewers

These quick and easy caprese skewers are a perfect way to showcase fresh summer ingredients: mild and milky mozzarella complements sweet tomatoes, while the sweet grilled peaches and salty prosciutto add bold flavors that elevate this classic appetizer. If you're entertaining, serve these skewers on an Italian-themed snack board alongside less labor-intensive ingredients such as store-bought grissini, cheese, marinated artichokes and charcuterie.