Roasted Squash Orzo

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I am really feeling fall this year. This time last year, I was about to move and I missed out on making any fun autumn-themed goodies. So this season I am taking full advantage of all of the pumpkin puree, gorgeous squash, and crisp apples that I can get my hands on!

I saw this recipe online one day and it got stuck in my head. Then at the farmer’s market I found the delicata squash that the recipe called for and snatched it up immediately. I had never tried delicata before but oh man, it was crazy good. You need to go out, get some, roast it just like I did and just eat it. It’s like a squash sweet potato? I don’t know how to describe–it’s just GOOD.

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If you’re not interested making orzo AT LEAST make the roasted garlic yogurt sauce. I had my doubts but it’s life changing.  But you really should just make the entire dish. The sweet squash with the sweet flavor of the roasted garlic are just mind blowing together. I quickly roasted some Swiss chard which cut through the sweetness with just the right amount of bitterness.  I’m a sucker for scallions and fresh herbs so the green onions and oregano made this the perfect meal. Make this now!

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium delicata squash, seeded & sliced 1/3-inch thick
  • 3 shallots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted clarified butter
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peel on
  • 12 Swiss chard leaves, washed & dried well, de-stemmed & cut into 3-inch strips
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • Salt and pepper
  • For serving: slivered scallions and fresh oregano,

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F with racks arranged in the top and bottom thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Roast the squash, shallots, and garlic on one sheet, and the chard on the other sheet.

Prep the delicata squash, and toss it in a large bowl with the shallots, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and a big pinch of salt. Arrange in a single layer on one of the baking sheets, add the garlic and place on the bottom rack, for about 30 minutes. Rotate the sheet twice during cooking to ensure it is evenly roasted.

Use the same bowl that the squash was in for the chard. Toss the chard with another splash of olive, and pinch of salt. Arrange the leaves on the other baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, or until you get a touch of browning, but the leaves are primarily still green. Set aside.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo pasta. Drain and toss with a tiny splash of olive oil. (You could serve this cold and run the orzo under cold water and set aside for later).

For the dressing, extract the roasted garlic from its peel, and mash it with a bit of the yogurt and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Work in the rest of the yogurt, taste, and add more salt if needed.

Toss the pasta, and roasted vegetables with about half of the yogurt. Turn out onto a platter and sprinkle with scallions and oregano. Serve the remaining yogurt to the side if you’d like.

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