Sunday, November 4, 2012

Acorn Squash with Orzo

I got tons of winter squash from the CSA this year.  It's a lot of squash for one person to cook, mash and eat.  So I decided to be a little creative and try some new recipes.  I've been considering some pasta recipes;  a friend of mine just made a delicious butternut squash lasagna.  Then I came across a recipe in this month's Yoga Journal for orzo-stuffed squash.  It looked tasty and I had most of the ingredients on hand.

Do I ever follow directions?  My mother was over last weekend, and we joked about how I learned that from her.  I had two huge acorn squashes, so I used them instead of delicata.  I skipped the pomegranate seeds and forgot the parsley.  I also shredded the sage leaves small and didn't strain them out of the butter.  They smelled so wonderful, it seemed a shame to toss them.

If I make this again with acorn squash, I may add more cranberries or some raisins.  Mom always prepared acorn squash with brown sugar and raisins, so I was expecting something a little sweeter. 

It made for a nice meal.  I've frozen the remaining stuffed squash; they'll be great for lunch at work.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Delicata Squash with Orzo from Yoga Journal (November 2012)

2 delicata squash
8 tbls unsalted butter
3 fresh sage leaves
6 oz orzo pasta
1 tbls lemon juice
1/2 cup pepitas or chopped almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries, halved
1/2 cup bread crumbs
handfull of fresh pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 375F.  Half squash and remove seeds.  Rub cut side with oil, and roast, cut side up, until tender when pierced.  Rub the inside of the squash with a little butter.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the remaining butter until it melts and developes a nutty caramel aroma and light brown color (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat.  Tear the sage leaves and add them to the saucepan.

Cook the orzo until al dente.  Drain.  Strain the brown butter through a fine strainer, and toss the butter with the orzo and lemon juice.

Toast the pepitas in a dry skillet until slightly brown.  Add the cranberries and pepitas to the orzo.  (If making ahead, you can wait to add the pepitas to the orzo mixture and fill the squash just before heating so the pepitas will retain their crunch.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Mound the orzo into the squash.  (At this point you can refrigerate until you're ready to heat for serving.)

Sprinkle a layer of bread crumbs on top.  Heat in a 250F oven for about 20 minutes.  Garnish with parsley, pomegranate seeds, salt and pepper.

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