Just as the main-course proteins such as burgers, barbecue chicken, brisket and ribs are expected at a Labor Day bash, so are the sides.
Sides offer a variety of textures and tastes and very accommodating to the different diets at a potluck party. So if there are vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians and those sensitive to gluten in the mix, there is a side that can made to fit their needs.
For instance, when you think salad, it could be a seafood salad with shrimp, olives and grape tomatoes, a tangy cabbage slaw with rice wine vinegar, a summer orzo with olives, cucumbers and pesto, with or without feta cheese, a bean salad with avocado, grilled corn and red bell pepper or a mayo-mustard based potato salad.
A savory pie could be a side in the form of a quiche, a tart or a slab pie with a filling made with creative combinations. Grains such as quinoa and farro are versatile as they can take on other flavors while retaining their own character. For something hearty, casseroles, mac ‘n’ cheese and gratins are crowd favorites.
So make room on the table for sides as they play a supporting role and more.
ROASTED COCKTAIL SHRIMP
Your oven does most of the work for this shrimp cocktail platter. Be sure to season liberally with that special seafood seasoning (the one in the yellow tin) and squeeze the most from your lemons onto the roasted shrimp.
1 tablespoon olive oil