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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Webb City Farmers Market Demo: Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash

I had the pleasure, today, of doing another cooking demonstration at the Webb City Farmers Market. With the fall produce in full swing, I chose the often misunderstood spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is quite unique in that the inner fibers can be scraped from the roasted halves and resemble thin spaghetti. I wanted to find a preparation that went beyond the typical spaghetti substitute. 

Recently, during a charity dinner demonstration for the Joplin Area Catholic Schools, I prepared a Mediterranean spaghetti squash course. The garlic and onion add a mild sweetness, while the feta and Kalamata olives layer a subtle tartness and brine character to the dish. The tomatoes and basil add freshness and round out the recipe. 

Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 C tomatoes, diced or chopped
3 Tblsp Kalamata or black olives, sliced
3/4 C feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tblsp fresh basil, chiffonade

1.  Slice squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds. NOTE: You can also roast    
     the seeds like pumpkin seeds, and eat as a snack or garnish the dish.

2.  Place the squash, sliced side down, on a baking sheet or baking dish and roast at 400*F     
     for 35-45 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.

3.  Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic in about 2 Tblsp of the olive oil over medium-high    
     heat, until translucent. 

4.   Add the tomatoes and heat through. 

5.  When the squash comes out of the oven, set aside to cool slightly.

6.  Using a fork, scrape the strands of flesh from the squash halves. 

7.  Place the "spaghetti" in a serving dish and toss with the onion, garlic, tomato mixture, olives,      feta, and basil. If necessary, or desired, toss with a little drizzle of olive oil. 

8.  Serve as a side dish or pasta course. 

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