Zucchini has become one of my comfort foods. I know this because when all else was hectic (e.g. unpacking a household, looking for work, uncertainty in general), I found comfort in zucchini. Mind you, it was mixed with yummy orzo and toasted hazelnuts. That may have had something to do with it.
Except for these cookies, this dish was the first real food my new stove and I turned out (I don't count frozen pizza). It was grand. And served with turkey and chicken sausages, it made this new apartment feel like a home.
Allow me to show off my new bowl -- one of my many dish purchases from Finland!
orzo with squash and toasted hazelnuts
(a recipe from Gourmet magazine circa 2002)
3/4 C orzo
1 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 C finely chopped shallot (I subbed in some sweet onion too)
1 medium zucchini, cut into medium dices
1 medium yellow squash, cut into medium dices (it's good with just double the amount of zucchs if you don't have squash on hand)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 C hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (if you want, you can remove the skins first by rubbing toasted nuts in kitchen towel)
1/4 C chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 C chopped fresh basil
1 teas fresh lemon zest
Cook orzo in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve a bit of the cooking water, then drain orzo.
Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in 12-inch skillet over med-high heat until foam subsides. Saute shallot, stirring, until golden (about 5 mins). Then add zucchini and squash. Season with salt and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until veggies are just tender (another 5 mins). Remove from heat and stir in toasted chopped nuts, parsley, basil, and zest.
Add cooked orzo to the skillet and gently combine. If mixture is a bit dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. Best served warm, but would be good at room temp too.
Enjoy, and happy fall!