If you have a hard time getting your kids, or husband, to eat their vegetables then try spaghetti squash! The tasty browned butter on squash pairs excellent with herbs, spices and other ingredients. Spaghetti squash is traditionally thought of as a winter dish, but it also makes a light and tasty spring meal.
Yields: 2 lbs squash serves 2-4 people
2 cloves minced garlic, more less to taste
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 spaghetti squash
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted best
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh tomato, optional garnish
Mince garlic, set aside. Mince fresh herbs, set aside.
Cut top and bottom from squash, slice into 1-2 inch thick rings. Remove seeds. For speed, place rings in microwave safe dish with ½-inch water. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, microwave on high for 10-15 minutes or until desired fork tender.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; swirl or stir pan constantly to prevent the milk solids and salt from falling to the bottom of the pan and burning. Cook until butter is light tan in color and has a nutty aroma (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat. Add minced garlic and continue to stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add fresh herbs and lemon juice.
Remove squash from cooking dish and shred using a fork. Discard rind. Drizzle or spoon browned herb butter over spaghetti squash, add parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and optional chopped tomatoes.
Microwave, Oven, or Roast?
Microwaving not only cooks fast, but it creates longer strands of evenly cooked spaghetti squash. You could say the squash cooked in a microwave makes it lush, not mush. Place rounds in microwave bowl with 1/2 inch water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave for 10-15 minutes.
The more traditional way to bake in the oven. You may vent the squash by poking holes in the top then pop the whole thing into the oven, takes about an hour to bake until fork tender.
You may also roast by cutting in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, place squash flesh side down, and roast. The roasting does help to caramelize the natural sugar in the squash and make it a little more sweet - which I like. This method takes about 40-45 minutes depending on how large your squash is. You can speed up the process by cutting the squash across into 1-2 inch slices. Butter and salt and roast in a 375 degree oven for about 25-35 minutes.