cornucopia cornucopia Your kitchen can look, smell and feel like fall, simply by adjusting your menu. (Photo: IngridHS / Shutterstock)

6 meals that’ll turn your table into a fall color palette

Conjure all of fall's beauty, warmth and brilliant color simply by changing up your menu.

You've thumbed through the catalogs and strolled past the mall window displays. You know that there must be some people out there who actually "rotate for the season" – the laborious act of changing out flatware, dishes, wine glasses, centerpieces, table napkins and sometimes entire pieces of furniture throughout your home according to the season you're in. But you? You're just a one-trip-a-year to Bed Bath & Beyond type of homeowner. You don't have four different sets of placemats.

And, yes, you know it's fall, but when it comes to decorating, your only exposure to a cornucopia is from your fourth-grade social studies textbook.

So here's some advice. Relax, sit back in your plastic coral Adirondack chair, and read on as we give you six easy ways to turn the color scheme of your dining table into a fall wonderland, simply by preparing brilliant, unmistakably autumnal meals.


Golden acorn squash with harvest rice

golden acorn squash with harvest rice blendThis squash recipe highlights the flavors, colors and ingredients of the season. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

The beloved gourd. Those oddly shaped, wildly colored blobs of deliciousness are usually the first objects to catch your eye when you enter the farmer's market, or the produce section of your grocery store, this time of year. So why do you keep walking right past them? Squash are some of the most versatile vegetables in existence, and as seen in the above photo, you can even make edible bowls out of them! In this recipe, our Israeli Kitchen chef Sarah Berkowitz has found these adorable pint-sized golden acorn squash, cut them in half, hollowed them out and filled them with a scrumptious rice blend.


Kale fruit salad

salad with pomegranate seeds, grapes and kale.Reboot your salad with fresh ingredients like kale, pomegranate seeds and grapes. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)

Behold the pomegranate, the fresh-for-fall fruit that needs no filter. Those seeds (also known as arils) are like deep red gems of perfection. No fall-food compilation is complete without at least one of these superfoods sprinkling their way onto your plate. And with this recipe, Israeli Kitchen contributor and vegetarian chef Jerry James Stone combines the almighty pomegranate with another much-loved, nutrient-rich superfood: kale. We – and your mother – approve.


Roasted root vegetables with rosemary

rosemary flavored roasted beets, potatoes, butternut squash and red onion The combination of beets, potatoes, butternut squash and red onion complements perfectly with rosemary. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Got a peeler and about a half hour to spare? Then you can conquer this root vegetable extravaganza, a medley of deep reds, purples, golds and whites capped off by the pine-like aroma and perfectly pungent flavor of rosemary. Beets, when blended with other root veggies like potatoes and carrots, do very well roasted, as long as they're solid and not mushy. They also add that brilliant splash of color you're after.


Chicken sofrito

Chicken sofritoChicken sofrito with potatoes, green beans and carrots. Fall dinner is served. (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

If you're as mad about saffron – and the vibrant yellow hue it produces – as we are, you'll fall in love with this chicken sofrito recipe, a Latin American import from Israeli Kitchen chef Miriam Kresh, who once lived in Brazil but now calls Israel home. "As a Latin American, I identify sofrito as a mix of chopped onions, garlic and tomatoes, sometimes with bell peppers, all seasoned with cumin and ground coriander and fried in olive oil," she said. "It’s a flavor base for beans and many other dishes. But here [in Israel] the word is applied to a method that falls between frying and stewing." If saffron isn't your thing, try a similar chicken dish, also from Kresh's kitchen, with curry instead.


Pea soup

Pea soupPea soup (Photo: Elena Schweitzer/Shutterstock)

Why do we eat peas with a fork? It's a mystery that confounds even the most seasoned kitchen commandos. Instead of engaging in a balancing act between fork and food, though, we recommend spooning some of this naturally creamy, superbly satisfying pea soup into your fall meal menu. Peas puree almost effortlessly, and the rich green color that emerges makes soup an even more appealing dish as the weather cools and your comfort food cravings approach their peak.


Pumpkin couscous

Pumpkin couscous holds its own as a main dishPumpkin couscous makes a great appetizer, side dish or meal. Round it out with a roasted lamb or keep it vegetarian by adding a leafy salad. (Photo: Anna Norris)

Since this list just wouldn't be complete without a pumpkin recipe, we bring you a recipe that combines the vibrant flavors of your favorite fall porch accessory with the comforting texture of couscous and the unique flair of sage. That unmistakeable scent of pumpkin wafting through your kitchen is enough to conjure fall's beauty on its own, but the warm, golden hue that envelops the couscous when it's done just pulls the whole brilliant dish together. For more equally irresistible winter-ready dinner ideas, check out this warm-weather food primer.

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