Friday, September 3, 2010

A wee bit of inspiration.

Labor Day weekend is upon us, my dearies! It's time for a last gasp of summer's freedom (The season doesn't even for another three weeks, but it does seem that the freewheeling, good timey stuff stops on Tuesday.), along with some time for serious enjoyment of summer's bounty.

Before the farmer's markets are taken over by apples, grapes and fall squash, let's grab late summer by the cojones and cook like mad, shall we? Here are some ideas for Labor Day fare...

Summer's most glorious pair - corn and tomatoes - are on their way out. Before they leave for good, why not enjoy a breakfast that showcases both? Recipe for a warm corn and tomato salad? Right this way...

Nothing says summer - or feeding a crowd - like pasta salad. My favorite version is the one I poached from my friend Danielle (who blogs over here as Foodmomiac). It's nothing like the gloppy, soupy versions you may remember from your childhood. It is, instead, sheer perfection.

Another recipe perfect for a crowd is spaghetti with raw tomato sauce. My version uses fresh fettuccine, but I've also made this for dinner parties using a pound or two of dried spaghetti. (Obviously, you want to multiply the tomato, garlic and basil quantities as well!) It goes over like nobody's business, and is especially easy to make now, what with in-season tomatoes finally coming into affordability.

One of my absolute favorite things to eat when it's hot out - or cold out, frankly - is home-cured gravlax. It's a perfect starting point for building a whole cold supper menu. Add in some pickles, a little pâté and maybe some crudités, and you've got the perfect meal. Don't forget the rosé, either.

Finally, dessert! I'd recommend a fruit tart, the better to enjoy the last bits of summer goodness. Maybe some blackberries and peaches baked in a no-fuss, no-rolling-required crust, or just plain plums in a galette. Whatever you do, use fruit that's local and in-season - don't be afraid to experiment a bit.

Have a wonderful weekend - Happy Labor Day, and Happy Eating!

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