I found out something new about myself last night: I totally love roasted spaghetti squash.
I know I know, I'm 36 years old, own an underground restaurant, cook for a living and spent 14 years as a vegetarian and, before last night, I had never eaten roasted spaghetti squash. I have a hard time believing it too.
I usually wouldn't share recipes with you guys that I've only tested out once, but since this one is from the renowned and well-respected Mr. Mark Bittman, I figured it was safe to forgo the recipe testing.
The recipe is from his newest cookbook called How To Cook Everything Fast. (in case you're wondering, I did get permission from the publisher to reprint the recipe, 'cause that's just how I roll.)
It's a simple dish that worked great as a quick and easy weeknight meal and was loaded with flavour and contrasting textures. In his cookbook, he has variations for roasted spaghetti squash, one with gorgonzola and hazelnuts and another vegan version with rosemary garlic oil and walnuts. The gorgonzola version is next on my list.
My cookbook review policy is: If I love it I'll review it, if I don't I won't.
I'd been eyeing up this cookbook online for a while before I was approached by the publisher who wanted to know if I'd like to take a peek at it. Would I? Heck ya, I would.
My first thought after tearing open the packaging was: IT'S HUGE!
To be honest, when I first got it I felt a bit overwhelmed by it, kind of like I used to feel when I'd get giant textbook at the beginning of the semester. I had to put it aside for a few days, cause that's just how I deal with things when I feel overwhelmed.
No need to feel overwhelmed, though; the book is awesome.
The recipes themselves are great, and the timesaving tips will be really helpful for people who aren't used to spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
What I like most about this book is that it shows the novice cook what can be prepared while other items are cooking. Most cookbooks are written as though the author expects the cook to have everything cut and organized ahead of time. Coming from someone who cooks A LOT I can tell you that mise en place in your home kitchen is nothing but a big waste of time. If you're not used to cooking a lot, these recipes will help you with the step by step process and make you a faster cook.
Even if you cook a lot the recipes are solid; there're tons in here that I'm looking forward to trying. Here are my personal favs:
- Hot and Sour Black Beans with Bok Choy
- Deep Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce and Scallions
- Panfried Trout with Bacon and Leeks
- Tofu Sandwich with Cucumber and Hoisin Mayo
- Caramel Stir-Fried Beef and Green Beans
- Pecan Bourbon Brownies
The publisher has offered Canadian readers of The Endless Meal the chance to win a copy of Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Fast.
The contest will remain open until February 17th, 2015. Good luck!
- 2 medium spaghetti squash
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
- Heat the oven to 500 degrees F. (while the oven is heating) Half the squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
- Put the squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn them sit side down.
- Put the squash in the oven - it doesn't have to be fully heated. Roast until the squash are tender and a knife easily pierces the skin, 30-40 minutes. (while the squash is roasting) Chop the ½ cup walnuts. Strip the leaves from 2 sprigs sage and chop.
- After the squash has cooked for 25 minutes or so, put 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally until the foam subsides and the butter turns but brown, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the walnuts, she and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.
- When the squash are tender, carefully use a fork to scrape loose the strands of squash, keeping them inside the skin.
- Put each squash half on a plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, spoon the butter mixture over the top, and serve.