I find it funny that Labor Day typically marks the end of summer. In North Carolina, the school year starts before Labor Day, and summer weather continues well past the three-day weekend. But, despite those markers, I do find that the feeling of slow summer days and lazy summer nights ends with Labor Day, so the upcoming holiday weekend really is celebration of the close of summer, with the added benefit of still having so much fresh summer produce available.
In the summer I sometimes have a hard time creating new baked goods because the produce is so fresh that I just want to eat it raw! It can feel like a waste to cook wonderfully sweet fruits and vegetables into a muffin or even a pie when it is so delicious on its own. We throw together quick salads, succotash with summer squash, tomatoes, and sweet corn, and omelettes packed with summer veggies and always have watermelon and stone fruit in the fridge, but rarely is it photo-worthy or worth sharing a “recipe.” But, I love the opportunity to create a beautiful, fresh, and seasonal dish for friends and family, and the summer bounty makes that so easy. With Labor Day around the corner, I’m excited about the opportunity to gather and share some of the amazing summer salads and side dishes that let those summer crops shine.
Filled with fruit and garden veggies, quick to throw together, and easy to transport, these 10 summer salads are perfect for your Labor Day cookouts, potlucks, and poolside picnics.