Ah, Labor Day weekend. The last hurrah before the school year really gets into full swing and everyone is back to work until the holidays. We’re milking these very last days of summer for all they’re worth with one more backyard barbecue! It’s the perfect time of year to take advantage of all the delicious in-season produce like tomatoes, peaches, pineapple and watermelon in every dish. Here is your Labor Day weekend party menu. Onward!
Menu Item #1: A Hearty (But Healthy) Salad
What ever will we do with ALL those bazillions of late-summer tomatoes from the garden? Panzanella, of course! The crispy hearty bread pairs perfectly with juicy tomatoes and the zing of bright basil. You could literally use any tomato you can get your hands on, from Roma to Heirloom to Grape or Cherry – even those big ol’ Beefsteaks will do. There are many variations on Panzanella, but we got this particular recipe from Delish (added a few green chilies) and it’s absolutely wonderful.
Menu Item #2: Bring on the Grilled Meats!
We’ve probably filled our bread quota with the baguettes in the Panzanella, so let’s skip it and instead of burgers or BLTs, let’s make these Hawaiian grilled pork kebabs! They’re easy to make and fun to eat – who doesn’t enjoy food on a stick? Our favorite recipe comes from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen – we went a little easier on the BBQ sauce though. The result? Sticky, sweet, garlicky, salty and just perfect for a late-summer backyard party. The guests will be licking their fingers and going for seconds.
Menu Item #3: Watermelon Slices
It’s as simple as it sounds! Watermelon slices are a standby for summertime parties, and kids from one to ninety-two love them equally. But it’s never a good time when you cut into the watermelon you just purchased and it’s got that mealy, dry texture – yuck. Here’s how to avoid that and find the perfect watermelon: 1) Pick it up and feel the weight. Big or small, the watermelon should feel heavy for its size. 2) Look for the yellow spot – watermelons develop a splotch where they rest on the ground, so you can rest assured that this melon has ripened on the vine. When the spot is creamy yellow, it’s ripe. 3) Give it a knock! Tap that yellow spot – if it’s ripe and ready for eating, the knock will have a deep hollow sound. If it’s no good, it will sound dull.
Menu Item #4: Peach Mousse Cake
You heard that right. This dessert takes advantage of summer peaches being at the peak of perfection, and the dessert is light, creamy and absolutely delicious. We guarantee this won’t last long on the table. We got this recipe from one of our favorite YouTube cooking channels, Tatyana’s Everyday Food. Personal Note: Seriously, my husband and I have made probably upwards of ten of her recipes and she never misses the mark. (Pork Tenderloin Marsala, anyone?)
What’s going on your Labor Day table this year? Comment below and let us know! No matter what you serve or where you go, we hope your long weekend is full of friends, family and the things that you enjoy the most. Happy Labor Day!