A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash – recipe suggestions!

The standard bags in our box scheme have been benefitting from the bumper size early squash that Hawkwood has produced.

At the Hawkwood growing site we like these squashes because:

  • They have grown well in newly cleared land – and been good companions alongside newly planted vine fruit bushes.
  • They are loved for their unusual spaghetti like texture which means when cooked, the flesh comes away in ribbon strips like spaghetti. (Also known as noodle squash in some parts of the world!)
  • They are a summer squash which means they are harvested slightly younger and therefore enjoyed earlier in the season than the winter squashes that store well and get us through winter. It will keep in store for a good couple of weeks – not somewhere cold.

These recipes are from Clare – an Organiclea worker, from her favourite vegetable growers’ diaries with cooking tips.  Let us know your success stories – with photos if you’re REALLY proud!

Basic cooking tips: 1) Can be roasted (with olive oil, a little chilli and/or rosemary), or 2) cut into chunky strips and boiled – then served with a simple vinegar dressing with olive oil, salt and pepper.

For a little more adventure, try:

Spaghetti Squash Soup

Ingredients: Large spag squash, cut into chunks (leave the skin on), 2 onions (chopped), 2 garlic cloves (chopped), 2/3 carrots (chopped), 2/3 celery sticks (chopped), olive oil, 1-2 teaspoons cumin powder, 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, black pepper to taste, 1 ½ pints vegetable stock, [and optional garnish of toasted flaked almonds and cream/yogurt – diary or soya]

Method: Cut the large spag squash into chunks and fry in olive oil untl softened a bit. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery and soften in a little more oil. Add cumin and caraway seeds; fry gently. Add black pepper to taste. Add stock (adjust quantity to get the thickness you like). Cook until veg is soft. Blend in a liquidizer. Serve with dollop of cream/yogurt and toasted almonds as garnish (optional).

Taken from: ‘A Vegetable Gardener’s Year’, by Dirty Nails. Howto Books, 2008.

Simple way to stuff a spaghetti squash – a vegetarian option

Spag squash, olive oil, 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 2 garlic cloves (crushed), 4-500g tomatoes (fresh or tinned – fresh is good at this time of the year!), 3 tablespoons of any lentils (puy are a good choice if you can get them – but any will do – a tin of cooked lentils is easy to find in the shops and will make this dish quicker to prep), small bunch of greens (such as spinach or chard – anything will do), tablespoon of shredded fresh basil, sea salt and black pepper.

Method – step one: Cut the spag squash into half lengthways, drizzle with oil, bake in oven (180oC/gas mark 4) for about 20 mins – until cooked through and starting to brown. Scoop out any seeds that there are (but not the flesh), and season squash with salt and pepper. Step two: Heat oil in a pan. Add onions – cook gently for 10 mins until soft. Add red pepper & garlic – cook for 15 mins. Add toms – cook for 10 mins (until toms have reduced and thickened). Stir in the cooked lentils and greens (spinach for example – you can chose not to use greens in this recipe) and season to taste. Step three: Spoon this mixture into the squash – and sprinkle with basil (if you eat cheese optional extra you can also sprinkle with feta cheese and/or parmesan.) Return to the oven and bake for about 20 mins until golden brown… serve with any green side dishes of your choice – also quite a feast on its own!

p.s Spaghetti Squash they are in the same vegetable family as a marrow – so dig out your old stuffing marrow inspirations!

Adapted from recipe in ‘Riverford Farm Cook Book’ – tales from the fields, recipes from the kitchen by Guy Watson and Jane Baxter. Harper Collins, 2008

Categories:  Recipes

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