There is no rule that says you have to put your barbecue away after Labor Day, but is often considered to be the last day of the summer grilling season as they days start to get shorter, the weather starts to get (a little) cooler and kids go back to school. I don’t put my grill away at Labor Day, so mine doesn’t make its last stand this weekend. That said, I always like an an excuse to turn on the grill, have some people over and enjoy dinner outside on a warm night and Labor Day is perfect for that. Here is one of my favorite grilling menus that has all the wonderful flavors of summer:
A great summer appetizer is Avocado Chimichurri Bruchetta. It is packed with ripe, summer tomatoes and creamy avocado, and has a flavor that you won’t find in any other bruschetta recipe thanks to the flavorful chimichurri sauce made with mint, parsley, cilantro, chives, lime and garlic. The sauce is good enough to eat on its own, just with a spoon!
My barbecue starts off with some Mexican Grilled Street Corn, also known as elote in Spanish. This corn on the cob is grilled, then slathered with mayonnaise and topped with lime juice, chili powder and cheese. Eating it can get a little messy, but that is part of the fun.
These Cumin-Glazed Grilled Ribs are a great main dish, especially if you’re planning to serve a crowd because it is easy to scale the recipe up if you need to. The ribs are tender, spicy and flavorful. They’re topped with a spicy sweet Pineapple Salsa, but they’re good even without that.
Fruit salad or potato salad is a good all purpose side dish to serve at a barbecue. They can both be prepared in advance and, since they’re served cold, they also provide a nice way to cut the heat of the weather and the grill.
Grilled fruit is the perfect end to a meal prepared on the grill. Grilling brings out the natural sweetness of fruits like peaches, nectarines and other stone fruits, and it works well for any fruit that is firm enough to handle easily with bbq tongs. Serve the grilled fruit with vanilla ice cream or turn it into summery shortcakes.