Spaghetti Squash Bridge Salad
How does one accidentally buy spaghetti squash?
That’s the question I’ve been asking myself for weeks.
After a recent buying frenzy at a local farmers’ market, I emptied my bag to find not one, not two, but three spaghetti squashes. And here’s the thing: I didn’t intend to buy any. Delicatas? Yes. Butternuts? Yes. Acorns? Yes.
Spaghettis? Uh uh. And not just one variety, but two: the common yellow, and one funky Stripetti variety (which I’m kind of glad about in retrospect, but still. Where was SoupAddict’s head through all this?)
Working my way through these squashes meant coming up with something other than spaghetti-spaghetti squash. In SoupAddict’s world, spaghetti is a fast, comfort-food meal, and having to pause to roast the “spaghetti” first completely defeats its Calgon-take-me-away mission.
If I were more paranoid, I’d suspect that squash were plotting to take over the world, one household at a time. “You three: get in that bag! Infiltrate and report back!”
Sometime later, the same market that unleashed their scout squashes on me included a recipe in its weekly newsletter featuring … spaghetti squash. Velly intarestingk [taps fingertips]
No, seriously, it was. Really! Instead of drowning the squash strands in tomato sauce, some clever person tried a lighter version of “pasta” salad by simply using fresh vegetables and a light dressing. It really works.
I’m still making this salad, in fact, and I love it because it’s been a sort of transitional dish — a bridge, if you will — between summer and fall produce. It’s October, but my garden is still pumping out plenty of summer tomatoes, cukes, celery, carrots and peppers, and this salad helps me abide by my strict no-waste rules.
If you still have access to summer vegetables, I hope you’ll give this a try – it’s a light, refreshing side or satisfying lunch alongside a toasty baguette.
In the meantime, SoupAddict is keeping a tighter grip on her market bag. No more scout squashes!
Spaghetti Squash Bridge Salad
adapted from The Organic Farm at Bear Creek
1 spaghetti squash, 1.5 – 2 pounds
10 cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered, if larger)
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 rib of celery, thinly sliced (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 recipe Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette (below)
1/2 cup feta cheese or goat cheese, crumbled
Yield: 4 servings as a side dish
Wash the squash thoroughly, cut in half length wise, scoop out and discard the seeds.
Place squash cut side down in a shallow baking dish filled with a ½” of water. Roast at 375°F for 40 minutes.
Remove squash from the oven, and place the halves on a plate to cool. Use a fork to scrape the cooked squash out of each shell and into a mixing bowl. The squash will be long and stringy like angel hair pasta.
Add the remaining vegetables to the squash strings and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently. Drizzle three-quarters of the vinaigrette over salad, and toss again to mix. Taste, and season with additional salt, pepper and/or dressing as necessary. Top with cheese.
Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon shallot, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
Place all ingredients in tall container and blend with an immersion blender, or, whisk first five ingredients together in a medium bowl, and then slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until blended.