Recipe Thursday: Spaghetti Squash ‘Salad’

What to do with all that Spaghetti Squash you see at the markets? In our case, it was the only squash that grew in abundance this year – light golden ostrich eggs all over the bean beds. I think we ended up with 9 or so of them and though they can keep for a couple of months (in a cool dark dry place), I feel the pressure to use them up soon or roast them/shred them/then freeze them.

I’ve never been one to really care for it ‘like spaghetti’ – treating it with red sauce. I like it for what it is – a yummy and unusual savory but sweet treat. I think it will be great as an addition/substitution for mung sprouts in a sort of Pad Thai and sometimes I like them just roasted with butter and parmesan cheese.

This recipe is inspired by a long ago Grace Parisi dish that we’ve tweaked to our liking. It’s a warm – room temperature salad with olives, feta, bacon and could be served with crusty bread if you want it super hearty or even add more vegetables if you want a full veg meal (like canned artichokes, palm hearts, capers, a bit of roasted red pepper, or even add Jardiniere). As a side I would think it could be great with pork tenderloin or even a nice dry-aged steak. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash ‘Salad’

Serves 4 as dish/6 as side

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash, halved lengthwise – seeds removed (and saved!)
  • 1 cup sliced Almonds (or the seeds from the Squash, Pine Nuts, Pepitas, or Sunflower Seeds)
  • 5 ounces Bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted Green Olives (such as Cerignola or Picholine)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced Scallions
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated Lemon Zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flake (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 ounces Greek Feta, crumbled ( 1/4 cup)
  • Sea Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a large sheet pan add enough water to come up halfway on the sides of the pan (it’s easiest to do this while the sheet pan in on the rack in the oven, just be gentle when you close the oven) and place the squash halves onto the pan, cut side down. Roast until tender (when a knife slides easily through the skin and flesh), about 25 min adding more water if needed. When done, remove pan from oven and turn squash over to cool a bit before shredding into a large bowl (discard any remaining water and skin).

Meanwhile, saute the lardons until mostly crispy (you can either strain the bacon and put to the side in a medium bowl or use the remaining oil to saute the nuts/seeds – its a decadent move but delicious) and dry toast the nuts either on a smaller sheet pan (or pie plate) in the oven for about 7 minutes until golden or on the stovetop in a saute pan.

Chop Olives and Scallions (and any additional veg) coarsely and add to the medium bowl with the bacon. Add Lemon Juice and Zest, Red Pepper flake, Sea Salt, and Olive Oil to a Mason jar or dressing shaker with lid and shake vigorously to emulsify. Add medium bowl and dressing to large bowl with shredded Spaghetti Squash.

Crumble Feta Cheese, add fresh ground Black Pepper, and toasted Nuts/Seeds and Serve! Happy Squash Season!

Published by Rachael M Rollson

creative life-learner

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