Labor Day Food Ideas
Fusilli with Summer Tomato Sauce
For this light, uncooked sauce, you must have perfectly ripe tomatoes. Be sure they're at room temperature, too, not cold. In fact, tomatoes shouldn't be refrigerated at all; chilling permanently reduces their flavor.
Grilled Antipasto with Garlicky Bean Dip
When Marcia Kiesel grills vegetables, she likes to add unexpected accompaniments, like grilled marinated mini mozzarella balls (called bocconcini) wrapped in anchovy fillets, and garlicky white bean dipped. Served with grilled country bread, this antipasto becomes a light main course. The bocconcini should be eaten hot off the grill, while still soft enough to spread on the bread. To prevent sticking, lightly oil the grate before grilling the bocconcini.
Potato-and-Wild-Salmon Cakes with Ginger and Scallions
"I started making these fish cakes to use up leftover bits of salmon and potato," says Sera Pelle, who enjoys them for breakfast or dinner. "But my family began to request them so often, I make them from scratch now."
Grilled Lamb Skewers with Mustard Onions
In keeping with Senegalese tradition, Sean Brock likes to make this dish with all parts of the lamb. But here he calls for just the leg, which is easier to skewer and grills up beautifully.
Ricotta Crostini with Three Toppings
Chef Allison Jenkins makes her own ultra-creamy ricotta (you can also use store-bought), then adds different toppings.
Grilled-Vegetable Pasta with Cumin
If you're a fan of grilled vegetables, here's a fine way to turn them into a meal. We've selected a combination of eggplant, zucchini, and red bell pepper, but you can replace any of them with another vegetable, such as onions, tomatoes, or mushrooms.
Sweet Corn Salad with Green Beans and Hazelnuts
This is a lovely late-summer salad that can be made almost entirely from produce from the farmers' market. The combination of flavors is clean and crisp: sweet corn kernels, juicy tomatoes, snappy green beans and toasted hazelnuts.
Vietnamese Green Papaya and Beet Salad
This fantastic Vietnamese salad gets intense flavor from a quick dressing of lime, sugar and fish sauce.
Grilled Chicken, Tomato and Onion Sandwiches
Except for the olive-oregano relish, all the components of this chicken sandwich are grilled—the chicken, tomatoes, sweet onion and even the bread—making for the ultimate grilled sandwich.
BLT Fried Egg-and-Cheese Sandwich
Thomas Keller's scrumptious recipe combines three of the world's most popular sandwiches--bacon, lettuce and tomato; fried egg; and grilled cheese.
Barbecued Salmon Sandwiches
This barbecue sauce, made with ketchup, cider vinegar, Worcestershire and canned chipotles in adobo, comes together quickly in a blender. The chipotles give the sauce an appealing smokiness.