We Designed a Fall Dinner Party Menu to Celebrate the Cool Change

Each summer I dutifully consume every tomato, peach, and ear of corn that finds itself within arm’s reach of me. While there are few greater pleasures than standing over your kitchen sink eating a perfect peach, as the shorter days give way to cooler nights, I start daydreaming about slow braises, mountains of roasted vegetables, warm spices, and long, cozy dinners with friends over big red wines. Fresh vegetables are nice, but have you tried butter?

The fall dinner party recipes below have been developed to capitalize on the changing of the seasons, leveraging the last bit of summer’s bounty to deepen the flavors of the fall produce as it hits the markets. Pair the last of the figs with winter squashes that are just starting to appear at the market, make the most of the fresh herbs in your window box before the first frost takes them away till next year.

We’ve structured these recipes so that they can all easily be prepped together—a seasonal feast without breaking your back so you can focus on the important stuff, like celebrating the crispness in the air, the brilliant fall light, and the snuggliness of your favorite sweater. Light some candles, fill your house with heavenly smells, and settle in around the table with good company; it’ll be time to hibernate soon enough.