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What to serve with your Labor Day meal


This July 21 photo shows curried shrimp salad in Concord, N.H.

This July 21 photo shows curried shrimp salad in Concord, N.H. Photo by: AP Photo/Matthew Mead


Alison Ladman/The Associated Press



Burgers. Dogs. Steaks. Maybe some sausages. We know you've got the grilling part of your Labor Day cookout covered. So rather than mess with that, we'll offer up some delicious sides that will complement whatever else you have on the menu. 


Start with the salad. In place of the classic potato salad, we created a squash and apple lookalike. The inspiration for this was the Waldorf salad, which dresses a mix of chopped apples, celery and walnuts with a mayonnaise dressing. We kept all of that, but lightened the dressing with yogurt and added squash and plenty of fresh herbs. 


Next up, round out your meal with some seafood. We grill up some curried shrimp kebabs and serve them over a salad that is one part guacamole, one part fruit salad. The combination of chopped watermelon and avocado is surprisingly refreshing and delicious. It's a fine side, or even a lighter main. 






Start to finish: 25 minutes 


Makes 6 servings 




1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks 


1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 


1/4 cup light mayonnaise 


2 tablespoons cider vinegar 


2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 


2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary 


Kosher salt and ground black pepper 


3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Jazz, cored and chopped 


3 ribs celery, chopped 


1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts 




  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the squash and boil for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just tender. Be careful not to overcook. Drain immediately and spread on a rimmed baking sheet to cool completely. 


  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, chives and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the apples, celery, walnuts and cooled squash. 


    Nutrition information per serving: 180 calories; 80 calories from fat (44 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 4 g protein; 180 mg sodium. 






    Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (30 minutes active) 


    Makes 4 servings 




    1 tablespoon olive oil 


    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 


    2 tablespoons curry powder 


    16 ounces large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined 


    3 cups diced watermelon 


    2 avocados, pitted and diced 


    4 scallions, thinly sliced 


    2 tablespoons lime juice 


    Kosher salt and ground black pepper 


    20 ounces cocktail tomatoes 


    Torn fresh basil leaves, to serve 


    Pecorino cheese, to serve 




  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and curry powder. Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. 


  • Just before you're ready to grill the shrimp, assemble the salad. In a medium bowl, gently combine the watermelon, avocados, scallions and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. 


  • Heat the grill to medium-high. Use an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs to coat the grates with oil. 


  • Thread the shrimp onto skewers, adding a cocktail tomato every few shrimp. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes, turning once or twice for even browning. Serve the shrimp and tomatoes over the watermelon and avocado salad. Top with torn basil leaves and crumbled pecorino. 


    Nutrition information per serving: 400 calories; 190 calories from fat (48 percent of total calories); 22 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 175 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 11 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 28 g protein; 370 mg sodium.



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