Jeweled Veggie Orzo with Wheatberries

Shannon Sarna

This easy side dish screams autumn, and is my way to feel like I am eating a nice bowl of pasta while also getting in a serving of whole grains and veggies. Add any combination of colorful fall vegetables that you like. The sweetness of the dried cranberries and the crunch of the pepita seeds is delicious outdoors in the sukkah on a crisp, sunny day.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup dry orzo pasta

½ cup wheatberries

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½ butternut squash

2 purple carrots or 1 large beet

¼ cup cooked peas (fresh or frozen)

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup pepitas (you can also use slivered almonds or sunflower seeds)

olive oil

salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel butternut squash and carrots. Dice each into ½ inch cubes. Place butternut squash and carrots, separately, on a baking sheet, drizzle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing once, until carmelized.

Note: If replacing the carrot with beet, wash the beet gently and place in tin foil. Roast in oven at 400 degrees for around 45 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool and remove skin. Once beet has cooled, dice into ½ inch cubes.

While vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook orzo around 11 minutes and drain. Drizzle with olive oil and place in a large bowl.

Cook wheatberries according to directions on package. (For 1/2 cup wheatberries, you will need around 1 cup of water. Bring water to a boil and then simmer covered for around 15 minutes).

In the large bowl with orzo, add cooked butternut squash, carrots (or beets), peas, wheatberries, cranberries, pepitas and another 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve room temperature or warm.

Yield: 6-8 servings