A game of squash

Having wanted for a long time to try cooking spaghetti squash I took the plunge today. The squash concerned was a decent two and a half pounds specimen, the biggest one harvested from the two plants which grew quite well in the raised beds this summer.

rimg0009a

Squashes (is that the plural of squash?) seem to keep for ages without going off – I cut this one off the plant back in September and it’s sat in the kitchen quite happily ever since.

rimg0010a

Although you can bake them whole, the heat penetrates and cooks more evenly if you cut the squash in half. That in itself is easier said than done given the very tough skin, but an almost new Sabatier boning knife fairly sailed through it.

rimg0012a

Scooping out the seeds and mushy stuff in the middle is next. It seemed a logical step to pick out, wash and dry the seeds and put them to one side for later …

Meanwhile the squash halves got a bit of seasoning and went face down in a baking tray with some water and foil on top. About 45 minutes at 200c (190 with a fan) cooks it through, the water and foil ensuring it all keeps moist.

Baking spaghetti squash

Bake face down, with water and covered with foil

Baking spaghetti squash

After: moist and caramelised

rimg1024a

They came out looking moist and ever so slightly caramelised, with a delicious sweet / savoury aroma. The best bit comes next, of course: shredding the flesh with a fork to make the ‘spaghetti’. It worked pretty well: strands forming easily, albeit short. You’d never fool anyone that it’s real spaghetti but it looks, smells and tastes very nice.

rimg1026a

rimg1028a

Perfect in fact for adding some late veg from the December garden. A couple of weeks ago there were several icy frozen mornings in succession, with frost on the broccoli, chard, kale and herbs.

Icy broccoli

Icy broccoli

Those are hardy plants though and picking healthy dark-green broccoli spears and leaves in today’s much milder conditions was a pleasure. Coupled with the very last of this year’s tomatoes and some dried oregano, the spaghetti squash dinner was a delight.

Broccoli and kale for adding to squash

Broccoli and kale for adding to squash

Spaghetti squash with winter vegetables

Spaghetti squash with winter vegetables

Spaghetti squash with winter vegetables

While outside I trimmed back all the spent foliage on the strawberry plants, fleeced up the two big brugmansias and checked on the pak choi.

Somebody got to the Pak Choi before me

Somebody got to the Pak Choi before me

Nearby is the garlic patch, where I planted a nice variety of cloves three weeks ago, hopefully just in time for them to put some roots down before everything gets too cold and wet. There’s no sign of life yet but I’ve put a mesh tunnel over the area to stop any birds pulling out the shoots when they do appear.

Next year's garlic

Next year’s garlic

Big chunky cloves promise well

Big chunky cloves promise well

Back indoors, once the oven was freed up after drying the oregano, it was time to do something with those squash seeds from earlier. Similar to a previous attempt at roasting chickpeas, I gave the squash seeds a light coating of oil then sprinkled on some cumin, paprika and fine salt and roasted them in the oven for 20 minutes.

Spicy roasted squash seeds. I'd rather eat my laptop.

Spicy roasted squash seeds. I’d rather eat my laptop.

The result? Well I’m trying them as I type this and to be honest I suspect my keyboard has a more enjoyable texture. Never mind, these things have to be eliminated from one’s repertoire 🙂

Coming up soon: lifting the remaining parsnips for Christmas dinner. Yippee! Can’t wait!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s