Ina Garten’s Labor Day Menu Is SO ‘Barefoot Contessa’

Ina Garten could be like the rest of us and serve up hamburgers and hot dogs on Labor Day. After all, she’s got some phenomenal recipes for those holiday staples. But instead, her Labor Day menu features seafood, fresh veggies, a delicious dessert, and a fruity cocktail. Seriously, it’s so Barefoot Contessa.

Ina Garten in her signature chambray shirt pictured in her Hamptons Kitchen in October 2018
‘Barefoot Contessa’ star Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten’s Labor Day menu wouldn’t be complete without the perfect end-of-summer cocktail

Ina’s choice of cocktail for her Labor Day menu is the Watermelon Mojito, from her cookbook How Easy Is That?

To make a pitcher that serves up six drinks, you’ll need 30 large fresh mint leaves, four thick slices of fresh watermelon, 12 ounces of light rum (Bacardi), a  half-cup of simple syrup, and six tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice. For garnish, you’ll need sprigs of mint and spears of watermelon.

Kitchen tools needed to make this drink include a mortar and pestle to mash the mint leaves, and a food processor fitted with the steel blade to purée the watermelon. You’ll also need enough ice cubes for six glasses, plus your garnish. Of course, this is best served ice cold.

‘The Barefoot Contessa’ star’s menu serves up Eli’s Asian Salmon with fresh veggie sides

For Ina’s main Labor Day dish, she bakes Eli’s Asian Salmon in the oven instead of cooking hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. 

This recipe features center-cut salmon filets covered in a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, oyster sauce, fish sauce, toasted dark sesame oil, chili paste, sliced scallions, garlic, and fresh ginger — plus a sprinkle of panko bread crumbs.

On the side, the Barefoot Contessa serves Sauteed Fresh Corn that’s cut from the cob, loaded with butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper. It’s a simple process, but the perfect way to make corn.

The second side dish on Ina’s Labor Day menu is Roasted Broccolini, from her cookbook Cooking For Jeffrey. Another simple — yet delicious — veggie side, the only ingredients you’ll need are three bunches of broccolini, good olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Ina Garten’s Labor Day dessert is Tri-Berry Crumbles

Fruit crumbles are always a great option for a holiday dessert, and Ina’s recipe for Tri-Berry Crumbles will be a big hit at your Labor Day cookout. This incredible dessert features fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, plus freshly-squeezed lemon juice, grated lemon zest, sugar, and cornstarch. 

For the crumble, you’ll need flour, sugar, brown sugar, old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, kosher salt, and butter. After baking, serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

“This recipe is amazing!  Every time I make it people go crazy.  I tend to add a bit more cornstarch in recipes like this, especially if my fruit seems especially juicy.  I had no problems with it being soupy and the lemons gave just the right amount of tartness.  I will make this again and again!” one happy reviewer shared.

The Barefoot Contessa airs on Food Network. Episodes are also available to stream on Discovery+.

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