For the next installment of Dark Days’ cuisine (to catch you up, this is a challenge I’ve joined to cook a SOLE food meal each week from Dec – April – the hardest time to find local food, much less local sustainable organic and ethical food) here’s a way to eat squash that many people may not have heard of:
No, that’s not pasta, that’s spaghetti squash. Just like any other winter squash, slice it in half, scoop out the seeds and pith, spread on some butter, salt and pepper and bake it up til soft in a hot oven. Altogether unlike any other winter squash, if you use a fork to scrape down the length of the insides the fibers separate and fall off to drape your plate like freshly boiled spaghetti noodles (with a few clumps here and there……..)
As you may have noticed, the possibilities are almost limitless with pasta – much the same with these squash noodles.
I still had a good supply of 2009 produce that I had put up (dried, canned and frozen goods) and in wanting to use up some of this excess, I decided on some dried green beans and tomatoes. Some fresh local leeks rounded out the dish (as did a good few gallops of California pinot noir) to provide a steaming hot plate of local veggies in a very unconventional presentation.
First I flash-sauteed the leeks in some of my local lard; once golden brown I poured in the red wine and let it simmer down with some local thyme and salt and pepper. Meanwhile I had been rehydrating the tomatoes and beans in some of the wine and once plumped up the excess went into the simmering leek pan. After the wine had reduced by about 3/4, I added the tomatoes and beans to cook up nice and creamy and all this was ladled on top of a plate of the scraped spaghetti squash “noodles” and made for a unique-tasting, economical (the squash is about $2 a pound and the other veggies were procured from the farm I worked on) winter Dark Day Delight.