Spaghetti Squash. One of my favorite hard-shelled winter squash.
When you love variety, you love versatility. This yellow gem is just that. Versatile. And this recipe is one of my favorite ways to bring a different twist, a Moroccan one, to an old favorite. It's bursting with flavor from the spices...but also very approachable due to the natural mild sweetness of the squash.
It's fantastic on it's own for a light lunch. Or along side a fish or chicken dish. In the photo below, it was served with tilapia (also in a Moroccan style).
*Shopping tip: When choosing a spaghetti squash, look for one that is heavy for it's size.
Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices
(adapted from Gourmet 2002)
1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3-4 lbs)
1/4 cup butter
2-3 cloves minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste...for me it's about 1/8 tsp)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup slivered, blanched almonds
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cut the squash in half (microwave the whole squash for 1 minute if the skin is too tough to cut through).
Using a spoon, scoop and scrap out the seeds and stringy insides.
Place the squash, cut side down, on a greased cookie sheet. Pierce the skin several times with a fork. Roast for about 35-45 minutes or until tender when pressed on with a fork. Allow squash to cool for a few minutes.
While you're waiting for the squash to cool, melt the butter in small saucepan. Add the minced garlic. Saute for 2 minutes. Stir in spices and salt. Cook gently for a couple minutes until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Then, using a fork, remove the flesh of the squash into a serving bowl, separating the strands as you work.
Pour butter mixture over the spaghetti squash strands and toss well. Top with chopped cilantro and slivered almonds.