I love the variation of fresh fruits and vegetables that summer offers and sometimes feel a little more hamstrung in the winter, but one of my favorite go-to’s that is fresher at this time of year, and has good shelf life, is Spaghetti Squash. A side bonus being that our slightly vegetable resistant, little dude actually thinks it’s a pasta! 😉
If you haven’t made Spaghetti Squash in the past it’s ridiculously easy, basically cut the squash in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds, season it, and throw the two halves, insides down on a cookie sheet and bake at 350-400 for 30-40 mins. I personally like to season with Old Bay, the Marylander in me pretty much dumps it on everything, but you can really go any direction, sweeten it up, spice it up, etc.
About a week ago, searching for a new spin for my spaghetti squash, I found a great recipe on allrecipes.com. It has a Mediterranean flair and I love the addition of feta (if you aren’t feta fans, Parmesan works well, too). We’ve already made it three times in the past week or so, with a few minor variations that I mention below. It was a great side with chicken and pork chops, and also worked stand-alone as a “pasta” meal with the little dude. 🙂 Check it out and enjoy next time you are looking for a creative solution to humdrum winter veggies!
MEDITERRANEAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH
1 Spaghetti Squash, halved length-wise and seeded
2 tbsps. Vegetable Oil (I routinely substitute Olive Oil based on personal preference)
1 Onion, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
3 tbsps. Black Olives, sliced (Clark Kent and I are violently opposed to olives–a major point of marital bonding for us–so I went light the first time, just for flavor, and then nixed them the second and third time; great either way)
2 tbsps. Fresh Basil, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees ( I like mine with a touch of crisp so I go a little hotter.)
2. Place squash cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet.*
3. Bake 30-40 minutes depending on size of squash. You should be able to insert a knife into the flesh of the squash with minimal resistance. Remove from oven and set aside for a few minutes to cool till it can be more easily handled.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until tender. Add garlic, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook till they are warmed through.
5. Use a large spoon, or fork (I prefer the fork), to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash into a bowl. Toss with the vegetables, feta cheese, olives (or not ;-), and basil. Serve warm.
*If you prefer to skip the oil or want to maximize the tenderness, in lieu of prepping the sheet with oil, it works great to place the squash on the sheet, put it in the oven, and then pour water into the base of the baking sheet–creates more of a steamed effect and keeps it super moist.
Hope y’all enjoy as much as we did…clearly we are obsessed since we had it three times in a week! 😉