Vegetables are fantastic! They really are. It's not so much a statement as it is a fact. Their color, variety, and versatility are astounding. I am forever finding new and strange fruits and vegetables to experiment with. (ie- Monstera Deliciosa) Today's experiment...... THE SPAGHETTI SQUASH! While not quite uncommon, the premise behind the Spaghetti Squash fascinates me. After cooking, the flesh becomes stringy, like a spaghetti noodle. In fact, many people eat Spaghetti Squash in the same fashion as they would spaghetti noodles, topped with marinara. Fascinating! As a lover of all things veggie, I just had to give this winter squash wonder a try. The problem: Work. Spaghetti Squash is normally roasted in the oven for at least one hour until soft. A faster cooking method would be 20 minutes in the microwave. I don't know about you, but that's just a little too long of a spin in the microwave for my comfort. It just seems unnatural. I decided to find a different approach and settled on my beloved Slow Cooker. I wrestled back and forth with topping options. Marinara, spinach and "cheeze", where should I go with this?! Who am I kidding? I ended up reinventing an old Katrina Classic and calling it a day. Without further ado, I give you.... squash!
Spaghetti Squash a la Gidget(the name needs work) Ingredients: - 2 cups Water - 1 medium Spaghetti Squash
- 1 medium Zucchini Squash, chopped - 1 medium Yellow Squash, chopped - 3 Carrots, chopped - 3/4 pint Grape Tomatoes - 1/2 pound (or so) Green Beans, cut into 2" pieces - 1 Green Bell Pepper, julienned - 1 cup Broccoli Florets - 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1 teaspoon Crushed Rosemary - 1 teaspoon Basil - 1 teaspoon Thyme - 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper - 1/4 teaspoon Salt - juice of 1 Lemon
Place Water and Spaghetti Squash in a slow cooker/crock pot and cook on low for 8-9 hours, or high for 5 hours. Once squash is soft, remove from slow cooker and allow to cool. Cut cooled squash in half, scoop out seeds, and "spaghetti" with a fork. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While squash cools, combine chopped vegetables, oil, and spices in a bowl. Toss gently to combine. I use my hands. Dump vegetables onto a foil lined baking sheet and roast 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Vegetables are ready when the Grape Tomatoes begin to burst. (A word of caution: When you open the oven door step back for a minute. The damp heat whooshes out. I thought my eyebrows had been burned off!!!) Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Once vegetables are roasted, heat a dash of Olive Oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Saute Onion and Garlic until translucent and soft. Add the Wine and Stock and reduce for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the Lemon Zest and VOILA!
To serve, plate desired amount of Spaghetti Squash topped with Wine and Onion reduction and crown with Roasted Vegetables. I drizzled a fruity Balsamic Vinegar over top my portion. Feel free to top yours with Parmesan Cheese. (That's what GF Guy does!)
This is my plate after 5 minutes...
I hated it... ;-)
Daily Dose of Dickens: Dickens has become quite the Book Worm! We just can't seem to tear him away from the book shelf!