A Harvest Lunch Gathering

Get together with family and friends to savor the flavors, colors, and calm of autumn with our easygoing weekend lunch.


+ enlarge image A few pots of mums and a centerpiece of seasonal flowers make setting the perfect autumn scene a breeze.

Caponata Be sure to bring the Caponata to room temperature before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld -- and that makes all the difference.

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Fig and Fruit Salad You'll find fresh figs in your supermarket from June through October. It's best to use them as soon as possible after purchase as they're very perishable.

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Butternut Squash Soup If any of your guests are vegetarians, they'll appreciate this meatless soup. In fact, with this soup, the salad, and the grilled vegetables, the menu provides a satisfying meal, even without the pork roast.

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Rosemary and Garlic Smoked Pork Roast Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure the proper doneness of the pork. The meat's temperature will rise about 5 degrees F during standing.

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Grilled Balsamic Vegetables The timing is just right! Cook the vegetables as soon as you take the roast off the grill. The pork needs to stand 10 minutes -- and that's about how long the veggies take to cook over the coals.

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Country Apple Tart Good apple varieties for this dessert include tart and tangy Granny Smith, Golden Delicious (which keeps its shape well), and deep red Rome Beauty.

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2 days before:

+ enlarge image Plan ahead by making this Butternut Squash Soup with Ravioli two days before your gathering.
  • Prepare Walnut Oil Vinaigrette; cover and chill.
  • Toast walnuts for salad; store in an airtight container.
  • Prepare soup mixture; cover and chill.

1 day before:

  • Prepare Caponata; cover and chill.
  • Apply herb rub to pork loin; cover and chill.
  • Prepare Country Apple Tart; cover and let stand at room temperature.
  • Toast baguette slices; store in an airtight container.

Two hours before:

  • Soak wood chips for grilling, then start the grill and begin grilling pork loin.

30 minutes before:

  • Set out Caponata.
  • Prepare and assemble salads.
  • Prepare ravioli for soup and reheat soup mixture.

10 minutes before:

  • Remove pork from grill; while pork stands, grill vegetables.

Just before serving:

  • Slice pork loin.
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