These Easy Fall Recipes Are Everything You Need For A Cozy Night In With Friends

Fall is the prime season for time in the kitchen with family and friends: the outside air is crisp, apples are ripe for picking, and root veggies are ready to be roasted. After spending the summer months dining out, we're finally ready to settle down with cozy company and kick things off with a good home-cooked meal. But not just any meal — instead, we're in the mood to make a full-on autumn feast. How about a menu that's equal parts easy, tasty, beautiful, AND comes complete with an on-point seasonal playlist? Sound impossible? Think again!

With the lovely Athena Calderone's (founder of chic lifestyle site, EyeSwoon) debut recipe book and entertaining manual, Cook Beautiful, the steps to such a seemingly impressive affair are attainable and within reach. Calderone's food-meets-design guide covers everything from the prep to presentation of seasonal recipes paired with creative tablescapes tips and specially curated playlists (from friends and DJ-extraordinaires, Hannah Bronfman, Harley Viera-Newton, Mia Moretti, and Chelsea Leyland) — proving that you don't have to sacrifice quality and a cool aesthetic for quick and easy.

So kick off your shoes, switch on the tunes, and scroll ahead for the three beautiful dishes that will get your celebratory fall feast started in a stylish cinch.

Photo: Courtesy of Johnny Miller.
Roasted Pumpkin & Brussels Sprouts With Poached Eggs
Serves 2

12 oz. pumpkin,peeled and cut into 1 in. cubes (about 2 cups)
8 oz. Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-in. cubes
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ tsp finely minced habanero chile (optional)
1 small lemon, zested
1 small handful fresh parsley, minced
Flaky sea salt, for finishing

1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Spread the pumpkin and potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.

2. Peel the outer leaves of the sprouts until you get to the small, white inner leaves, trimming the sprout’s bottom to help release more leaves. Place the leaves on a baking sheet, reserving the centers of the sprouts for another use. Toss the leaves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Remove the pumpkin and potatoes from the oven. Toss and return them to the oven along with the sprout leaves. Roast until the vegetables are golden and tender and the leaves are crispy, 6 to 8 minutes.

4. While the vegetables are finishing in the oven, fill a medium saucepan halfway with water. Add the vinegar and bring it to a gentle simmer. You should see small bubbles around the bottom and edges of the pan, but do not let the water boil.

5. Crack an egg into a ramekin. Using a spoon, stir the water in circles to make a gentle whirlpool. Gently pour the egg into the water. Simmer for 2 minutes, undisturbed, then remove it with a slotted spoon to a paper towel–lined plate. Repeat with the remaining egg.

6. Toss the roasted vegetables together with the habanero, if using. Divide them between two plates and top each with a poached egg. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, parsley, and flaky sea salt.

Recipes excerpted from Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone, published by ABRAMS c 2017. Photographed by Johnny Miller.
Photo: Courtesy of Johnny Miller.
Roasted Cauliflower With Lemon Zest, Parsley, Capers, & Jalapeño
Serves 4 to 6

1 head cauliflower, quartered, cored, and cut into bite-size florets
3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lemon
1 large handful fresh parsley (about ½ cup), roughly chopped
1 tbsp capers
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and thinly sliced
Flaky salt, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with the oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast the cauliflower, tossing the florets halfway through, until they are deep golden and crispy, 30 to 35 minutes total.

2. While the cauliflower is roasting, use a vegetable peeler to peel 3 strips of zest from the lemon. Cut each strip crosswise into very thin slices. Cut the lemon in half, reserving one half and storing the other for another use.

3. Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving bowl. Top it with the parsley, capers, jalapeño, and sliced lemon zest. Squeeze the mixture with the lemon half and drizzle it with more oil. Toss to coat all of the ingredients, and sprinkle with a pinch or two of the flaky salt.

Recipes excerpted from Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone, published by ABRAMS c 2017. Photographed by Johnny Miller.
Photo: Courtesy of Johnny Miller.
Orecchiette With Kale, Fennel, & Sausage
Serves 4

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1½ lb. ground pork sausage, removed from their casings (half-and-half mix of sweet and spicy)
4 cloves garlic, smashedand chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 fennel bulb, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
½ tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 bunch lacinato kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
1 lb. dried orecchiette pasta
Grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
Freshly cracked pepper, for serving

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it’s browned on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate.

2. Add the garlic to the same skillet and sauté for 2 minutes, until light golden. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the red pepper flakes, if using, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the fennel and salt and sauté until the fennel has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stock and cook a few minutes more.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the kale to the boiling water and blanch it for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the kale and add it to the skillet, along with the sausage. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente.

4. Drain the pasta into a colander, making sure to reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet and cook it with the sausage and kale over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. If the pasta is dry, moisten it with the reserved pasta water, adding ¼ cup at a time. Check and adjust the seasoning.

5. Finish the pasta with grated cheese and freshly cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipes excerpted from Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone, published by ABRAMS c 2017. Photographed by Johnny Miller.
Photo: Courtesy of Johnny Miller.
Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone, $22.48, available at Amazon.
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