Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic and Herbs

Recipe by JeanMarie Brownson
Serves 6

1 large spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds
4 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as a combination of basil, thyme and tarragon)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Freshly ground grains of paradise or black pepper

1. Carefully cut squash lengthwise in half. Place one half cut side down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Pierce the skin several times with a fork. Add about 1/2 cup water to the dish and cover with plastic wrap vented at one corner. Microwave on high until tender (insert a knife into the squash to test), 10 to 12 minutes. Remove squash to a cutting board. Add the other half of the squash to the dish, cover and microwave as before.

2. While squash is cooking put the unpeeled garlic cloves into a small cast-iron skillet or griddle and cook, turning often, over medium heat until the peels are golden and the garlic is tender, about 10 minutes. Cool, then peel and chop finely.

3. Use a large spoon to discard the seeds from the center of the squash. Working over a serving bowl, use a large fork to pull the flesh into strands. Stir in the chopped garlic, olive oil, herbs, chives, salt and grains of paradise (or pepper). Mix thoroughly with two big forks. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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