The first time I ever saw a spaghetti squash, I laughed right out loud. A friend had invited me over for dinner, and was in the process of pulling the cooked strands loose with a fork. I’ve loved it ever since.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. To cook the squash, first wash it to remove any pathogens from the surface that you don’t want to transfer to the inside when you cut it open with a knife. Next, cut it in half the long way. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Lay both halves of the squash face down on a baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake until the skin and flesh can be easily pierced with a paring knife, about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on size.
While the squash is baking, light your fire or grill. To cook the vegetables, you’ll need some sort of perforated grill pan, either an actual pan such as I use, or square ones that sit on a grill. The perforations allow the smoky heat to penetrate to the vegetables, but aren’t large enough that they’ll fall through into the fire.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH GRILLED VEGETABLES
1 tomato, medium dice (1/2)
2 cloves garlic, roughly minced
8 button or crimini mushrooms, stems removed (stock bag), quartered
Sea or kosher salt and grinds of pepper
1/2 baked spaghetti squash
1/2 cup Feta cheese cubes
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Sea or kosher salt and pepper to taste
Chopped Italian parsley or shreds of fresh basil for garnish
- Prepare the vegetables for grilling. Place them in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- When squash is done, remove from oven and turn both halves face-up so they can cool a bit.
- Set the grill pan on the grill to heat, just as you would a skillet on a stove. Add the vegetables. Don’t stir them too often, or they’ll break down more than you want them to. Use tongs to gently move them around in the pan. When they’re warmed through and a bit caramelized, about 10 minutes, return them to the mixing bowl and return to the kitchen.
- Use a fork to scrape the strands of squash out of one half. Put them in the mixing bowl with some olive oil (a couple of ounces), the Feta and the grilled vegetables. Toss with tongs to blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Divide between two plates. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley or shreds of fresh basil.
Here’s to summer any night of the week. This makes a heavenly dinner all on its own, as well as a side dish to any grilled meats.