These Make-Ahead Recipes For Labor Day Weekend Embrace The Last Of Summer Produce

Contributing Food Editor By Liz Moody
Contributing Food Editor
Liz Moody is a food editor, recipe developer and green smoothie enthusiast. She received her creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody is the author of two cookbooks: Healthier Together and Glow Pops and the host of the Healthier Together podcast.

Image by Deirdre Malfatto / Stocksy

Whether you're having a low-key Labor Day weekend or taking a last-minute trip or hosting a final summer BBQ, chances are you'd like to have your Labor Day weekend involve as little actual labor as possible. With that in mind, we've created easy dishes that celebrate the last of summer's produce bounty, all of which are easily created ahead of time, so they'll be ready exactly when you need them.

Blistered Cherry Tomato & Basil Frittata

Image by Cameron Whitman / Stocksy

This frittata is a perfect, hearty make-ahead dish, with sweet bursts of cherry tomatoes hidden throughout the salty, creamy egg base. Preheat oven to 435 degrees. In an 12-inch cast-iron skillet, cook 2 cups of cherry tomatoes with one red onion in some olive oil over medium high until the tomatoes are blistered and the onions are beginning to brown. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together 12 pastured eggs and ½ cup milk of choice, with 1 cup of chopped basil and a generous pinch of fine-grain sea salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, and cook without disturbing until the edges start to set, about 1 minute. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the egg isn't jiggly throughout. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in fridge until ready to serve, garnishing with a bit more fresh basil before doing so.

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Peach & Thyme Bruschetta

While tomato bruschetta is delicious, stone fruit makes for a surprising addition. Just dice 2 cups of peaches, then toss with olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt until coated. Store in fridge until ready to serve, then toast sourdough or gluten-free bread, topping it with the peach mixture, a generous amount of fresh thyme leaves, fresh-ground black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Corn & Tomato Salad

This is one of the easiest dishes on here, but that doesn't make it any less delightful. Simply cook 1 cup of corn (you can use fresh or frozen) in a hot pan in some extra-virgin olive oil until it begins to brown. Let cool, then toss with 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, and 2 cups of gently torn basil. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil just to coat, a generous pinch of sea salt, and the juice of one lime. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

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Related Class

How To Make Healthy & Delicious Meals
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Zucchini Thyme Muffin Fritters

Making fritters in a muffin tin is a great way to minimize the effort and maximize the beautiful results. To make, preheat oven to 400 degrees, then spiralize or grate 2 zucchini and 1 yellow onion, and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a generous amount of fine-grain sea salt, and let sit for 15 minutes to draw out moisture. Use a nut milk bag or a clean dish towel to squeeze out the liquid, then mix the now more dry zucchini with 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, 1 pastured egg, the zest of 1 lime, and ¼ cup arrowroot powder. Press the mixture into olive-oil-greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are brown and crispy. Store in the fridge until ready to eat, then warm at 350 until warmed through (they're also delicious cold or at room temperature!). Squeeze with lime juice just before serving. This makes about 6 fritters.

Blackberry Salsa

Blackberry makes for a novel base to salsa—this version, which is a great way to use up quickly-fading berries, is especially good with guacamole. To make it, chop ½ a red onion, ¼ cup cilantro, and 1 jalapeño. Combine in a medium bowl with 2 cups of blackberries, the juice of 1 lime, and a generous pinch of fine-grain sea salt. Macerate the blackberries until they're broken up but still have a chunky, salsa-like texture. Store covered, in the fridge, until ready to serve with chips and guac!

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Chile-Lime Cucumber Salad

Image by CreatiVegan / iStock

A cucumber salad makes a fresh and surprising side dish. To make it, just spiralize or shred 2 cups cucumber, then toss with 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, ½ teaspoon paprika, a generous amount of fine-grain sea salt, and the juice of 1 lime. Store in the fridge until ready to serve!

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