Saturday, November 12, 2011

Delica Squash, Pumpkin Seeds, Mint and Shaved Fennel with Pomegranate

This salad is so easy to prepare and has a lot of interesting flavors that all work beautifully together. The thinly shaved fennel adds a wonderful crunch and really cuts through some of the fattiness that squash provides. Not regularly being a fan of raw fennel because of the strong anise flavor, slicing it paper thin gets rid of that sharp black licorice punch.

Maple roasted delica squash nestled around orzo, crisp pomegranate seeds, toasty pumpkin seeds, shaved fennel and fresh mint.

Delica Squash and Orzo Salad
1 delica squash, seeds removed, cut into thin wedges
4 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbl maple syrup
salt and pepper
3 tbl raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup orzo
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
3 tbl chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup thinly shaved raw fennel

Preheat the oven to 450.
Toss the squash with 2 tbl oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Roast for 25 minutes, turning the wedges over once. Add the seeds to the tray and roast 5 minutes more.
Bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 6 minutes. Drain excess water.
Toss the orzo with 2 tbl of oil, pom seeds, mint and shaved fennel. Top with roasted squash and pumpkin seeds. Season with salt and pepper.

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