Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Pistachio Parsley Pesto

Thanks to Annie for the awesome black sea salt!
I've had two annual Thanksgiving Potlucks so far this week and have another this coming Saturday. Over the weekend, I made my Vegan Butternut Squash Soup recipe and the Balsamic Parsnips and Maple Dijon Carrots inspired by Clean Food by Terry Walters for our Chi Omega Alumni Potluck and I'll probably make the soup again for Saturday. But today, I wanted to try something different, so I roasted a Spaghetti Squash and topped it with a delicious pesto made from parsley, pistachios, and garlic. I got a few requests for the recipe from coworkers, so here goes:

1 spaghetti squash of about average size, rinsed
1 large bunch of parsley (roughly 1 1/2 c leaves)
6 TB extra virgin olive oil (2 for the squash + 4 for the pesto)
3 TB shelled pistachios
2 TB lemon juice
1 clove garlic
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400* F

Time-saver: Line a pan (9x13 pyrex should work well for this recipe, but you can use whatever you have that will fit both halves of the squash) with a sheet of parchment paper if you want to save time on dishes later!

Slice the squash in half lengthwise (a sharp butcher knife works well), and scoop out the seeds (Any metal spoon should work for this. You can keep the seeds if you want to roast them like pumpkin seeds, or simply discard/compost them).

With the squash skin-side down, drizzle the meat of the squash with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Season with some good sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Massage the oil, salt, and pepper in to the squash. Place the squash flesh down/skin up in a baking dish and roast at 400* for 45 minutes. 

Flesh down and into a 400* oven. 
You'll know it's done when you can stick a fork through the skin and it goes through the meat of the squash without resistance. The squash should also start to turn a golden brown. 

45 minutes later... perfection! 
I flipped the one on the left over first... the one on the right a few minutes later and it was still steaming. 
While the squash is cooking, I had plenty of time to get some work done, take a quick shower, AND make the pesto... but the sink is still full of dishes (shhhh... don't tell James.)

Parsley is super high in Vitamin C and was still
available at the Union Square Farmers Market on Sat!

The pesto was super easy. I threw 1 clove of garlic into the food processor and let it rip until she was all minced up. Then I scraped down the sides, added the pistachios, and pulsed on high until they were minced, too. Then I added the parsley and ran the processor on high while I drizzled in the EVOO, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. That's it.

Once the squash was cool enough to handle, I used a fork to scrape the squash down off the skin and combined the meat of both squash into the better looking skin. I also mixed it up a bit so the seasoning would be more evenly distributed (it's the little things).

Then I spooned the pesto atop the squash. I meant to throw some dried cranberries and whole shelled pistachios on top to make it even prettier, but this little guy distracted me!

This has me thinking of all the things I could cover in parsley pesto. Dried berries and some creative juices could turn a dish like this into a Christmas tree in no time! :-P

BESIDES basil, what's your favorite kind of pesto?