An antipasti themed menu for Labor Day

Now that Irene has mostly come and gone and people seem to be doing generally well, I think it’s time to start talking about what to cook for Labor Day.  I can barely believe it’s next weekend.  As I was hemming and hawing over what I wanted to make, I put together this menu.  It’s buffet style and based on an antipasti theme.

Lots of small plates with fresh ingredients is probably my favorite way of eating, though I suppose that’s not totally reflected yet in the recipes I’ve put together on this blog (…we’re working on it slowly but surely…).  So, in addition to calling out a few of our own recipes (just click on the picture to open the recipe), I’m also linking to several recipes from other sites that are speaking to me.

Clearly making all of these recipes would be a little crazy, but if you do, could you invite me over?

SMALL PLATES

Start with a couple types of olives and a few nice cheeses.  Maybe a big bowl of hummus.  Then add a few more salads/side dishes and possibly a soup.  Here’s some recipes that are current favorites:

simple white bean salad

summer split pea soup

Also…

Shaved fennel salad from 101 Cookbooks

Roasted peppers with capers and mozzarella from Smitten Kitchen (maybe replace the mozzarella with burrata?)

Tomato salad with olives and coriander salad from Yummy Supper

Now would also be a tremendous time for bruschetta with a caponata or mushroom topping to provide a bit of an anchor for all of the salads, but I’m not finding any recipes I’m totally in love with online (anyone? anyone?).  So, let’s go with this Roasted Eggplant and Zatar pizza from Sprouted Kitchen.

DESSERT

The main meal is light and bright and I think dessert should feel equally fresh.  A nice stone fruit sorbet would be perfect to me.  But, I’d also like a fresh fruit galette (which would feel as rustic and casual as all the salads…and I think galettes look gorgeous on a big table of food) or these beautiful roasted apricots.

pluot sorbet (please mentally replace the book with wine)

Blueberry galette from Lottie + Doof

Simple roasted apricots from Joy the Baker (or maybe peaches would be better this time of year…)

DRINKS

Last but not least, drinks!  There’s definitely wine.  Which will be wonderful.  But, I think it would be nice to add a little extra sparkle to pre-dinner and post-dinner chatting.  So, here’s a few cocktails that would work well.

rosé sangria with peaches and cucumber (this one won an editor's pick at food52!)

tom collins (classic and wonderful)

cucumber-ginger-lime slushies

I’m going to share a BBQ-themed menu in a couple days…and then I’d love to hear which one you like better.  But for now, what are your Labor Day favorites?  Do you have any traditions?  (Other than buying, say, back to school supplies…let’s not talk about school!)

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