Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My New Favorite Vegetable: Spaghetti Squash

Okay, I will confess. I am not a big squash eater. It just seems too much trouble. They are hard to cut in half. They take a long time to cook. Oh, I like summer squash in salads, and in stir fries, and just to chow on raw, but winter squash, that's a whole different vegetable.

This last summer, I grew spaghetti squash. My sister-in-law, a near vegan and needing a strict gluten-free diet, suggested it. Not for a minute did I believe the hype that it "tastes like pasta." And it doesn't. It tastes like a veggie, but a crunchy tasty one that is great with melted cheese and basil, so in effect you can use it like spaghetti.

My sister-in-law and I have also came up with quickie cooking method. We wash them, stick them with a knife making vent holes, and then microwave them whole for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, we bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. This cuts the cooking time in less than half. Once cooked, they are easily cut in half. I can then scoop out the seeds and store it in the fridge, I can scoop/scratch out a serving at a time, top with cheese, and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. One squash is 4-5 servings.

Another way I've found to eat spaghetti squash is scooping out the insides and mix with two eggs and press into a pie dish, top with pizza sauce, cheese, and spices and cook like a deep dish pizza.

It is a productive squash and easy to grow. It stores well. Pick before your frost and wash with a 10% bleach solution. Be careful not to nick the squash with fingernails or tools when harvested. Dry for 10 days before storing in a root cellar or basement. Check for spoilage, regularly.

If you are looking for something different to grow this spring, try spaghetti squash.

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