Labor day is an American national holiday designed to recognize the achievements of workers and their accomplishments. This day traditionally marks the end of the summer season as well. Planning the last party of the summer can take on a new twist with a few new food serving ideas.
Labor day marks the end of summer and is the perfect time to serve the first of the fall vegetables. Keeping with the tradition of a grilled meal, cook up some grilled zucchini seasoned with butter and herbs to accompany steaks. Wrap broccoli, cauliflower and onion in a large piece of tinfoil with seasoning and water to steam along side your grilled meats. Slice and grill sweet potatoes or bake them whole on the grill. A spinach, cabbage and onion salad will make a great starter for any meal. Bokchoi and Endive also come into season at this time of year and might be added to a salad or steamed alone. Consider making a soup to start the meal made from early fall and late summer squash. The first pumpkins start showing up in stores and local markets around this time, so consider using one for pies or souffles.
Baked on the Grill
Many main dishes usually baked can be prepared on the grill for a special occasion such as a Labor Day party. With aluminum foil placed on the rack, you can grill a meatloaf along with potatoes to create a "Working Man" meal. A beef or pork roast can be seasoned and placed on the grill early in the day to slow cook. This meal might be accompanied by grilled vegetables or a green salad. Small turkeys and whole chickens can also be prepared on the grill if the appropriate amount of time is allowed. These birds might call for grilled tomato and onion slices for side dishes.
New Twists, Old Favorites
The traditional Labor Day cookout, such as many summer season events, traditionally involve hamburgers, hot dogs and steaks. These old favorites can be updated to make for a different meal.
Slice a hot dog lengthwise and stuff with jalapeno peppers and cheddar cheese for a spicy delight. Cut the dogs almost in half and lay open on the grill with some red onion for a serve with chilled tomato for a new taste. A hot dog dipped in barbecue sauce prior to grilling can give your guests a surprisingly smokey flavor. You can also try these ideas with sausages.
Ponder new ways to make burgers by adding Chipotle sauce or crumbled bacon into the meat prior to making the patties. Mixing sausage into your ground meat can add a kick to a burger and adding honey or spicy mustard to the meat will give new flavor to the old favorite.