The summer wind-down has officially begun…wha-wha. Days are getting noticeably shorter, many kids have gone back to school, and chaotic fall routines are swinging into full force. However, Labor Day – a celebration of America’s workers – is one last hoorah…an opportunity to get our final taste of care-free summer days and rock some white shoes and linen (if we’re so inclined) before we hunker down and start the whirlwind that carries us through the end of the year.
The holiday often still benefits from the warm days and evenings of late summer, which makes it ideal for barbecues and outdoor gatherings with family and friends. And let’s not forget…food-wise, Labor Day’s timing offers some of the best ingredients of both summer and fall. But we’re not ones to compete with the perfect simplicity of burgers and dogs on the ‘cue. This Labor Day, you can have your burg and eat it, too, friends.
Consider these deliciously seasonal (and organic) ‘salads as sides’ to complement to your favorite grilled fare. While these salads are packed with greens, there’s enough pasta-y, potato-y and caramelized veg goodness going on here to hold their own at a cookout and delight even the biggest salad skeptics. Here are a few of our favorites:
Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Salad: There’s no reason to leave salad off the menu when you’re grilling! This intensely flavorful salad gets its magic from a mixture of grilled marinated veggies that serves as topping and dressing all at once. Toss the veggies with the greens when they’re hot, right off the grill, and they’ll wilt the greens just a bit to create a warm and hearty side dish.
Orzo, White Bean & Power Trio Salad: This pasta and bean salad is the perfect complement to late summer or early fall grilled fare. It is also hearty enough to stand up on its own as a delicious pasta salad entree. The white beans, deep greens and radicchio add savory substance and texture, while the olives and sundried tomatoes add a contrasting and satisfying brightness.
Fingerling Potato Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes & Kale Italia: Dig into this more nutritious, delicious and seasonally-inspired twist on a favorite, late summer cook-out side dish. We love this recipe because it’s hearty and satisfying but won’t weigh you down. It’s also the perfect canvas to enjoy seasonal heirloom tomatoes in all of their juicy, delicious and colorful glory.
Cheers to the flavors of summer and fall. Enjoy!