Spaghetti Squash is a vegetable that is available & in season now at year-round farmers markets. Hard skinned, it is storable for many months without spoiling and is one of the simplest and least expensive vegetables out there to prepare. If you think you don't like squash, give it another try. It is so unlike other squash varieties in its taste & texture that it is worth the experiment. Its smooth strands pull apart easily with a fork when cooked and, depending on the size of the squash that you are preparing, can range from angel-haired pasta to thick spaghetti in consistency.
When buying winter squash like Spaghetti Squash, select one that is hard and that seems heavy for its size. Don't worry if you see scabs or scars on its shell, but make sure there is no mild, soft spots, lumps, bumps or cracks. It should be very hard and watermelon shaped with a smooth, yellow skin. If it has a greenish hue, it may be immature. The larger the squash, the denser the pasta-like strands. Don't spoon the squash out of the shell once it is cooked; rather, use a fork like a comb to tease the strands away from the skin. Don't worry... it's super easy to do!
How to butcher a squash
Winter squash are notoriously difficult to cut because they are so incredibly hard. The Greengrocer recommends that you place a damp cloth under the squash to prevent it from sliding. Then, using a long, sturdy, shape knife and a mallet, hammer the knife into the squash to split it vertically, to one side of the stalk. Now our son, he would like the axe or hatchet to become a kitchen tool... and then he'd embrace helping me with meal prep!
Roasted spaghetti squash
This recipe comes to us from Adam Mickelson whose wife, Trisha, volunteers at our market. Trisha always raves about Adam's cooking, and she shares one of his easy-to-prepare ideas with us today.
1 Spaghetti squash1 tbsp. buttersaltpepper
options:1. Slice a spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Poke skin several times with a fork.2. Scrape out seeds.3. Place two halves on foil or parchment lined cookie sheet, flat side down.4. Bake 50 minutes in pre-heated oven at 375 F.
5. Remove and let cool about 5 minutes until able to handle.6. Scrape flesh out of skin with a fork to create spaghetti-like strands.7. Place in serving dish and stir in 1 tbsp. butter, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese and serve as side dish.
- Use in place of pasta for a lower calorie spaghetti dish.
- Add a tablespoon of maple syrup to enhance its inherent sweetness.