I know what you’re thinking: Spaghetti Squash is a fall-winter vegetable, so why is Andrea posting a spaghetti squash recipe when strawberries and asparagus abound in the produce section? Read on.
Last weekend my family and I went to visit my grandparents in Central California—yep, the Central California of fruit and veggie fame. As my grandpa says, “You name it, we grow it here.” Thus, being in farm country in the height of spring, we took a short detour to a road-side produce stand, eager to discover what edible treasures The San Joaquin Valley had to offer. Three baskets of tender, flavorful strawberries and a pint of the season’s first cherries were jewels enough to make me happy, but Sam was onto bigger things. “This tastes great with lamb,” he said, plopping a hefty, pale-yellow spaghetti squash onto the produce stand scale.
I panicked for a moment, thinking, Wait! That’s not in season! Why are we buying spaghetti squash in the middle of May? Then it dawned on me: we weren’t going to get much closer to the source than this. The Eat-Local-Eat-Seasonal cops probably weren’t going to give us a ticket for this one. If this produce stand was selling spaghetti squash, then by golly we would eat spaghetti squash. So that, in a nutshell, is why we’re eating spaghetti squash in the middle of May.
Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash
This dish is incredibly versatile, so think of the spices and proportions as suggestions rather than hard and fast rules. Don’t have cardamom? Skip it. Want to add 6 cloves of garlic instead of 2? Go right ahead. Hankering to throw in some other spice? Try it. That’s what I did with the cardamom, ginger and allspice, and we didn’t regret it.
Makes about 6 generous servings as a side dish.
1 (3½ – 4 pound) spaghetti squash
½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
? teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Pierce spaghetti squash several times with a knife to prevent bursting while in the oven. Place squash in an oven-safe dish and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours until the squash feels slightly soft when pressed.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, about one minute. Remove from heat and stir in spices and salt.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds with a spoon and discard seeds. Scrape the spaghetti squash flesh into a large bowl, breaking up strands. Toss with spiced butter and cilantro.
Heavily adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook recipe Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices (p 582).