The 15 Recipes I Have to Make Before Labor Day Hits — Recipes from The Kitchn

There is still plenty of summer to be had, even though the calendar says Labor Day is approaching much faster than I'd like it to be. So I am soaking up every little bit of the season in these lingering weeks of August. Aside from beach days and picnics on my agenda, there are these 15 recipes. Each of them — whether they are dinners, snacks, desserts, or drinks — are celebrations of summer, so there is no arguing that they need to be checked off my list before September arrives.


How To Make Southern Tomato Pie — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

From the first bite to the last slice, tomato pie is sublime: Sharp tomatoes and savory bacon are seasoned with thyme and bathed with mayo and sharp cheese to make a humble pie that's the perfect entrée for your end-of-summer suppers and lazy weekend brunches.

I have a theory that tomato pie was created by thrifty Southern cooks who were trying to make the most of tomatoes from their backyard gardens — especially those tomatoes that weren't quite ripe enough for tomato-and-mayo sandwiches or canning. These cooks had the ingenious idea to transform these so-so tomatoes into something wildly delicious with pantry staples like mayonnaise and breadcrumbs. It also means that any home cook can master this speciality with just a few key points.


Recipe: Fresh Tomato Blender Sauce — Quick and Easy Vegetarian Dinners

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

It's not worth fussing too much with summer tomatoes. When they are so juicy and sweet this time of the year, it's truly hard to improve on them. That's why tomato sandwiches and caprese salads exist. That's also why this sauce exists. Slow-simmered tomato sauces are glorious, but save those for when you're trying to coax life and flavor into the canned stuff come winter. For this recipe you need to do nothing but toss the tomatoes you grabbed from the farmers market into a blender, add a little garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil, and transform the mix into the brightest, liveliest thing you can toss with pasta this summer.


Recipe: Beef and Tomato Stir-Fry — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

My grandmother was an amazing Chinese home cook, and this stir-fry, a Cantonese classic, was one of my favorite dishes. It has tender, thinly sliced beef coated in a savory marinade that doubles as a sauce. It's full of zingy ginger and garlic, and sweet tomato wedges that are cooked just enough to release some of their juices but keep their shape. It's a hearty dish that's delicious spooned over a heaping bowl of steamed rice to soak up all the tasty sauce. It's also a great way to celebrate tomato season when you're looking to add a new recipe to your book.


This Basil Whipped Ricotta Is the Best Thing You’ll Eat All Summer — Delicious Links

(Image credit: With Food and Love)

August is quickly slipping away before my eyes, which means the produce panic is settling in. Must eat all the tomatoes and zucchini! To counteract this, I'm making as many effortless, no-cook meals highlighting the season's best ingredients as I can. And this simple dish is at the very top of my list.


Recipe: Avocado Caprese Salad — Salad Recipes

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

Of all the essential ways to use up ripe and juicy summer tomatoes, I'd argue that a big caprese salad deserves a spot at the top of your list. And there's one thing that's going to make this summer's caprese the best yet: creamy chunks of ripe avocado.


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