Three Easy Recipes for a Festive Fall Meal

Wednesday is the first official day of fall! Welcome it with a meal that highlights seasonal fall ingredients that you can easily source at a local famers market or grocery store. Early fall foods such as tomatoes, squash, sweet peppers, and apples served as inspiration for a dinner that even culinary novices can prepare with ease.

The meal begins with prosciutto wrapped sweet peppers stuffed with cheese and baked until the prosciutto is crispy. The entrée is spaghetti squash filled with tomatoes—they roast as the squash bakes. The finishing touch is a layer of mozzarella cheese and dinner ends with apple crumble for dessert.

The goal was to create a menu bursting with fresh produce and fall flavors that is low on cost and preparation time. These recipes are easily scalable and can be made to serve a crowd without much extra time or effort. Each recipe only requires three to seven ingredients, relying on pantry items you likely have on hand to supplement the seasonal produce. Enjoy!

The Grocery List:

• 8-10 Small Sweet Peppers
• 2 cups Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
• 4-5 Basil Leaves or ½ teaspoon Dried Basil
• 1 Spaghetti Squash
• 2 medium Apples (Granny Smith or Gala)

• 1/3 cup Soft Herbed Cheese such as Alouette or Boursin
• 1 large ball of Mozzarella
• 2 tablespoons Salted Butter

Pantry Items:
• 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
• Salt
• Pepper
• ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon All Purpose Flour
• ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon Light Brown Sugar
• 3 tablespoons Old Fashioned Oats
• a dash of Ground Cinnamon
• a dash of Vanilla Extract

3-4 slices of Prosciutto
• Vanilla or Caramel Ice Cream

The Recipes

Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Spaghetti Squash

The squash will take the most time to cook, so start preparing it first. Slice the stem off the squash. Place the squash on a cutting board with the flat surface where you cut the stem off facing down. Carefully, use a sharp knife to slice the squash in half vertically.

Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of the squash. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Next, slice the tomatoes in half, and fill the squash halves with the tomatoes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, sprinkle with the basil (chop it if you are using fresh basil) and a touch more salt and pepper.

Place the squash on a baking sheet, and then in the oven and let bake for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, remove from the oven, slice the ball of mozzarella, and spread the mozzarella over the top of the tomatoes. Return to the oven and let bake for another 20 minutes. After a total of 45 minutes in the oven the squash should be fork tender.

Prosciutto Wrapped Sweet Peppers

Now get to work on your appetizer. Slice the sweet peppers in half, and remove the seeds. Then use a knife to fill the peppers with the creamy herbed cheese. Cut the slices of prosciutto into thirds, and wrap the prosciutto around the peppers. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes along side the squash. 

Apple Crumble

While the peppers and the squash are both cooking, prepare the apple crumble. Start by peeling and slicing the apples, removing and discarding the core. Place the slices of apple in a medium bowl, add 1 teaspoon flour, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, a dash of vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon and stir together. Pour this mixture into either one baking dish, or two smaller individual baking dishes.

Then mix the crumb topping for the apple crumble. In the same small bowl, mix the remaining brown sugar and flour with the oats and butter. Use your hands to mix until small crumbs form. Top the apples with this mixture.

Once you serve dinner, increase the heat of the oven to 400 degrees and put the apple crumble in the oven to bake. Let bake for 40 minutes; remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving with a scoop of ice cream.