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If ever a spice and an herb were meant for each other, fennel seed and rosemary would be it. The fresh, woodsy flavor combination perfectly complements a juicy pork roast in this recipe. Plus, by roasting the pork on a bed of garlic and onions, you get the best of both worlds: meat infused with robust flavor, alongside garlic and onions roasted in pan drippings. But don’t forget the delicata squash, which deserves its own mention. This winter squash has a similar flavor to butternut, but is much easier to prepare thanks to its tender, edible skin. 

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

2 ½ - 3 pound pork top loin roast
1 ½ tablespoons whole fennel seed (toasted and lightly crushed)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½ teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons Market House Super Allium Spice (or substitute Kosher salt)
½ ounce fresh rosemary (stemmed and finely chopped)
zest of 1 lemon (use a Microplane)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 whole heads garlic
1 onion (halved and sliced into wedges)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 Delicata squash (about ¾-1 pound each)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt

Instructions:

1. Mix the spices, rosemary, lemon zest and lemon juice into the olive oil. Completely cover the roast in the spice mixture and refrigerate, preferably overnight. When ready to cook, remove the roast from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 450°. Lightly crush the garlic bulbs to separate into cloves. You do not need to peel them, but remove the loose papery skins. Toss the garlic and onion in 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the garlic and onions in a roasting pan. Add ¼ cup water and place the roast on top of the vegetables.
3. Roast the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°-140° (use a good digital meat thermometer).
4. Meanwhile, cut the squash in half lengthwise. There is no need to peel the squash. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. Slice the squash into ¼ inch slices. Toss them in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the sliced squash in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and cook until tender (about 20 minutes).
5. When the roast reaches the desired temperature, remove from the oven, and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Arrange the squash on a serving platter. Add the garlic, onions and any pan drippings. Slice the roast, and serve it on top of the onions and garlic.

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