A Very CP Friendsgiving: Orzo with caramelized fall vegetables and ginger

Still following along with our Friendsgiving menu? Great! It's carb-loading time—because if you don't treat the holidays as a time to do awful things to your body, then you are not welcome in my home and my cats probably hate you. In the upcoming weeks, you will be subjected to boxed stuffing and that butter-cracker-crusted casserole that your mother-in-law makes (shout out to Good Housekeeping's 1996 holiday issue). Not. Up. In. Here. I am a fancy lady who caramelizes vegetables and casually incorporates kale into pretty much everything. And then tops it all with expensive cheese.

Orzo with Caramelized Fall Vegetables and Ginger

1/2 pound orzo pasta
Grapeseed oil
1 pound butternut squash (I highly recommend pre-peeled and cubed)
2 yellow onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tbs
2 cups kale, stalks removed and leaves finely chopped
Ground black pepper
Shaved parmesan, shaved
Rosemary sprigs

Heat a large pot of water to boiling and salt it generously. Cook the orzo until barely al dente, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Drain and toss with a generous drizzle of oil so that the grains of orzo are lightly coated with oil. Set aside.

Peel the sweet potato and dice them.

Heat a large saute or frying pan over high heat. Drizzle in a little grapeseed oil and heat until very hot. Add the butternut squash. Cook over high heat until beginning to caramelize and turn brown, about 4 minutes. Flip squash over and cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Turn the heat down to medium and push the squash against one side of the pan. Add the diced onions to the center of the pan and sprinkle them with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are beginning to turn brown.

Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and stir into the onions. Push the onions off to the side of the pan, next to the squash. Add the diced shiitake mushrooms to the hot center of the pan and cook them for 4 minutes without turning them. Then flip and stir them and cook for another 4 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Pour this into the pan with the vegetables and mix everything together, scraping the bottom as you go. Cook everything together for about 3 minutes on medium heat.

Add the orzo gradually, shaking in a cup at a time, and stirring and scraping constantly. Cook the orzo over high heat with the rest of the vegetables for about 5 minutes, letting the orzo get browned on the bottom of the pan, then scraping it up.

Toss the chopped kale into the mix and cook for 1 more minute or until the greens are barely wilted. Garnish with ground black pepper, shaved parmesan, and whole rosemary sprigs.

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