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Dinner Tonight! | THE LIGHTER SIDE

On Golden Squash

October 11, 2000|DONNA DEANE

On a recent visit to the farmers market, I picked up the most beautiful golden zucchini. They look like the green variety except they have a deep golden skin and bright green stem.

I think they even may be a little sweeter than green zucchini, and because the flavor is so sweet and delicate, I did not want to mask it with strong flavors. So I cut the zucchini into 2-inch pieces and microwaved them with fresh dill. I did add a small amount of butter with a bit of salt just before serving. The hot steamed squash was so delicious we couldn't stop eating it.

I decided to mix what little squash was left over with some cooked orzo to make a dish that is tasty but substantial enough to make a dinner even for non-squash lovers. I added dill and a touch of lemon peel to bring out the flavors and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts for a little crunch.

Golden Zucchini and Orzo

Active Work Time: 10 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 35 minutes

If you have a problem finding golden zucchini, substitute one of the other varieties of summer squash.

Nonstick cooking spray

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup minced onion

1 cup orzo

2 1/3 cups water

Salt

2 golden zucchini or other yellow squash (about 1/2 pound each), cut into 1-inch pieces

3 tablespoons minced dill

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

* Spray medium saucepan with nonstick cooking spray and add olive oil. Cook garlic and onion in saucepan over medium-low heat until onion is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in orzo and cook and stir about 1 minute. Stir in water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until orzo is tender, about 12 minutes.

* While orzo is cooking, steam zucchini or squash in steamer basket over boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes.

* Stir cooked squash into orzo. Stir in dill and lemon peel. Season to taste with salt. Serve with sprinkle of toasted pine nuts.

4 servings. Each serving: 177 calories; 377 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 26 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 1.23 grams fiber.

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