Oh spaghetti squash, where have u been all my life?
I first tried spaghetti squash a couple of months ago and I couldn't believe how amazing the texture was, the subtle sweetness, the way it made the dish lighter and healthier than it otherwise should be. How could I have lived a good portion of my life without it? Can't say I know much about squashes, the only other squash I use with confidence is butternut squash. But still, I felt like a hermit having stumbled onto civilization.
I can just think of about a million things I want to do with it, and one of them is this very recipe. Like I previously said, it has been a while since I last saw one in the farmer's market or in the store. This squash is usually a winter variety, and not too long ago I almost bought one at a local grocery store until I found out they were trying to charge me $8 for a small one. I convinced myself that I would just have to wait for winter, until I saw it while wandering through Whole Foods during my lunch break. I spotted this spaghetti squash for about $1.50/lb. I snatched it in a heartbeat! I don't buy much in Whole Foods unless it's on sale and I was not going to wait for them to change their mind on the price. I was finally going to get my chance to make something with this beautiful squash.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cut spaghetti squash in half. With a spoon take out the seeds (don't throw them out, set aside)
- In the cavity of each half of the spaghetti squash place a table spoon of olive oil. Add a pinch of each of your favorite herbs. If you want some heat add some red pepper flakes. I used rosemary, thyme, and basil.
- Mince the garlic and add an even amount for each half. I also had some roasted garlic so I smashed a clove of roasted garlic in each cavity.
- Add salt and pepper to your liking
- With your hands mix all of the ingredients and rub them all over the inside and edges of the squash, don't rub it on the skin.
- Once the oven is ready, place each half with the cavity facing up and leave in the oven for 20 minutes.
TIP 1 - If there is one thing I hate more than anything when using an oven, is to use it and only make one thing at a time. If I can make multiple things at once, then I'm spending less money on gas and being more energy efficient. Here are a few of the foods you can prepare that won't cause any added stress to make.
If you like it well done, then this is the time where you take out your spaghetti squash and add the salmon.
After the 20 minute mark you have a few choices and it all depends on how you like to eat your salmon.
- Make sure you cut your salmon steak so that it fits into the cavity of the spaghetti squash.
- Rub some salt and pepper to your liking all over the salmon. Rub a little bit of olive oil on the skin, but only enough to give it a shiny coat.
- Place the salmon skin side up inside the cavity of the squash, this will enable it to get a nice and crispy skin, which I LOVE!
- You will notice some olive oil squash juice in the cavity, DON'T REMOVE! that's only going to add flavor to your salmon.
- Place it back in the oven for another 20 minutes and you are done!
- So you don't burn your hands, let the squash rest for a few minutes before you start to separate the strands.
- If you still see squash/olive oil juice that hasn't been soaked up by the salmon, use a spoon and save it in a small container so that you can add it to the finished dish.
- Once the spaghetti squash has cooled enough, take a fork and start to separate the strands of the squash.
- When you separate the strands try not to puncture the skin of the squash. As you can see from the pictures you can use the skin as your plate and it holds up well to the task.
- Put all of the spaghetti squash strands in a separate container. You could add a pinch of salt and pepper to give the squash some flavor, BUT, I would actually recommend that you use grated parmesan cheese or feta cheese. The warmth of the squash will melt the cheese away and it will taste amazing!
- Whatever squash you have left over simply save in a container and leave in your refrigerator. You can use it for lunch, or if you happen to be making this dish for 4 people, then I would say that it will yield enough for everyone without any leftovers.
TIP 2 - Try making the Basmati rice earlier in the day. It will reduce the amount of time you spend around the oven. Follow the instructions in the bag, but add a clove of garlic or the stem of one scallion for flavor (My mom and aunt do this to regular rice and it makes Basmati rice even more flavorful!). When you are ready to reheat, simply place your rice in a microwavable container, wet and strain a paper towel, just make sure the paper towel stays moist. Use it to cover the rice and microwave for a minute. The rice comes out as if you had just finished cooking it.
Now that your dish is ready to plate and serve I hope that you enjoy it with a beer growler of your choice (which I did) or maybe a nicely chilled glass of your favorite white wine.
Buen provecho! =)