Thursday, January 10, 2013

Roasted Vegetable Orzo

I've recently come to really enjoy different types of winter squash.  Spaghetti squash is one of my favorites, but I've also enjoyed acorn squash.  When I saw this recipe on 101 Cookbooks that used winter squash, I thought it was worth a try.  It has orzo with lots of roasted vegetables and a savory garlic yogurt sauce.  While the original recipe used delicata squash, I used acorn squash and I thought it was great.  I cut the acorn squash in half, scraped the seeds out, then cut into thin slices as shown below.  After that, I cut each slice in half again before roasting.  

This meal is relatively simple to prepare and is a nice variation on a traditional pasta dish.  I think it tastes comforting, and yet is pretty healthy!

Roasted Vegetable Orzo

Serves 4

  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeded, sliced thin, then slices cut in half again
  • 3 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, peel on
  • 1/2 pound kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 8 ounces uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt (I used fat-free)
  • black pepper, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, to taste


1) Preheat the oven to 400F with racks arranged in the top and bottom thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment. 

2)  Prepare the squash and toss in a bowl with the shallots and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Season with a bit of salt.  Arrange evenly onto one of the baking sheets.  Add the garlic to the sheet separately, off to the side (peels on!).  Place on the bottom rack and roast about 30 minutes, until soft and there are spots of brown on the vegetables.

3)  After the squash is in the oven, fill a pot with water and bring to a boil on the stove.  When boiling, cook the orzo according to the package directions.  Drain and put in a large bowl.    You should aim to put the orzo in the boiling water right after putting the kale in the oven.

4)  Meanwhile, toss the kale with another tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch more salt (use the same bowl that you used to prepare the squash). Arrange onto the second baking sheet.  Add the kale to the oven in the final 10 minutes of the squash cooking.  Check every few minutes to make sure it does not burn.
5)  Take the two sheets of vegetables out of the oven. Put a spoonful of the yogurt into a small bowl.  Squeeze the roasted garlic out of their peels into the yogurt and mash together.  Mix in the rest of the yogurt.  Season with more salt, pepper, red pepper, oregano to taste.  Feel free to add other seasonings as well if you are inspired.  

6)  Add the vegetables and about half of the yogurt sauce to the bowl with the cooked orzo and gently mix.  Serve with another spoonful of yogurt sauce on the side.    

(recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

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