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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Recipe: Picking and Preparing Spaghetti Squash

You pick spaghetti squash when it is pretty big, 8 inches or larger. The more on your plant the less large they get. The fewer on your plant the larger they get. Does that make sense? You can see the various sizes at the supermarket.  The one I am cutting up is on the larger side.

The colors vary from more whitish to yellow. The cool thing about squash is you can let them sit there. The longer they sit the more yellow skinned the spaghetti squash will get. No matter when you pick them, they will cook up just fine.

Spaghetti Squash: Gary Pilarchik
The Split the Spaghetti Squash Down the Middle: Gary Pilarchik

Split the spaghetti squash evenly length wise down the middle and remove the seeds. You will notice as you remove the seed that flesh pulls out in strings, like well... spaghetti.

Remove the Spaghetti Squash Seeds: Gary Pilarchik
Season Your Spaghetti Squash: Gary Pilarchik

Season the squash as you wish. I used salt and pepper. You don't need to season it a lot while it cooks. In most cases you are going to add a dressing to it once it is done and scraped into strands. Add 2 cups of water to your pan or dish. Turn the squash face down and place it into the oven. The oven needs to be set to around 375 degrees and the squash should cook for about 30 minutes. There is a trick to know when it is done.

Place the Spaghetti Squash in the Oven: Gary Pilarchik
Cooked Spaghetti Squash: Gary Pilarchik

The spaghetti squash is done when you can easily press you finger into the rind and leave a dent like above. Take it out and let it cool for about 15 minutes or until you can handle it.

Scrape Spaghetti Squash with a Fork to get Strands: Gary Pilarchik

To make strands, simply scrape the spaghetti squash with a fork. Scrape the entire squash while in the rind and get all you can. All the squash will break away from the outter skin.

Strands of Spaghetti Squash: Gary Pilarchik

The steam is flowing across the squash in the above picture. Notice below how much the pile really does look like spaghetti.

Fully Scraped Spaghetti Squash: Gary Pilarchik
Spaghetti Squash: Gary Pilarchik

Place the spaghetti squash in a bowl. It is only seasoned with salt and pepper at this point. It tastes great just like that. You can add olive oil and butter or dress it with whatever you like. 

I made a ginger soy sauce dressing with green olives and kalamata olives. It was outstanding.

Dressed Spaghetti Squash
A Fork Full of Spaghetti Squash: Gary Pilarchik

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