September 08, 2021
While strolling through the Urban Harvest farmers market one morning, I was excited to spot something I had never cooked or tasted before. A farmer with a few large, ripe yellow spaghetti squashes called me over and persuaded me to buy them, even though I told him I was going to be out of town for the next week or two. “They will be fine in your refrigerator for a few weeks. You can cook them when you come back.” He was right.
Spaghetti squash originated in China and was brought to America in the 19th century. Once roasted, the inside flesh separates into spaghetti like strands. To first understand their flavor, I simply cut the squashes into cross sections and roasted them with salt, pepper, olive oil. I drizzled them with yogurt and sprinkled herbs on top, as in the recipe here. Another interesting way to cook them is to turn them into a salad with braised mushrooms, seeds, nuts and fresh fragrant herbs and greens. Either way, spaghetti squash is quite the exciting discovery in my kitchen, and I hope you give it a try.
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
Pinch of red chili powder
Few herb sprigs for garnish (such as cilantro or mint)
1 lemon or lime
Serves 4 to 6
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash into 1-inch-thick round cross sections. Lay them flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave the center intact, which will have seeds attached. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and pepper evenly over them. Drizzle the olive oil over the squash. Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil, reduce the temperature to 300°F and place the baking sheet back in the oven. The spaghetti squash should cook for another 30 to 40 minutes or until they are golden brown, and the inside flesh comes away from the skin with a fork when tested. The seeds should have roasted and are edible, but if not, discard.
Season the yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon salt and serve the squash drizzled with the yogurt on top. Sprinkle chili powder if you like. Drizzle more olive oil, squeeze the juice of a lime on top, and garnish with herb sprigs.
The roasted squash is tasty warm or at room temperature.
Try to buy ripe spaghetti squash that are usually golden yellow; if green, they are still raw, and the inside has probably not fully formed.
Cutting the hard shell of the squash will require some muscle; I used a hammer to cut through it.
December 02, 2022