February 14, 2006
LEMON!!! (or Lemon) Spaghetti Squash

(Wow, been a while since I posted, eh? That's what happens when you go on vacation for a week.)

While visiting Meg, we had a chance to cook together a couple of times, something that really never happened in the old days when we were roomies. She cooked at the time and I sampled and critiqued. Mostly I said "Mmmmmm, tasty," and stuffed another forkful in my gaping maw. But now I cook as well. And the first thing we cooked together was a fish dinner with a side of boiled potatoes and lemony spaghetti squash.

Meg had come across the spaghetti squash at an organic market in Paris. Squash are not exctly thick on the ground in Europe, being a very American (as in from the Americas) ingredient. She'd seen my previous post about hating the usual method of cooking the squash by treating it as a faux-spaghetti and subjecting it to a Bolognese type sauce that is utterly unsuited to the flavor of the actual vegetable.

The default preparation would have been to sautee the squash in butter and nutmeg/cinnamon and served it as a very rustic earthy side. Instead, we took the squash by the rind and made a bright lemony relish for the fish that could have easily been a side with less lemon juice.

I'm sure Meg will go over the preparation of the fish itself later on (hint, hint), but for now, here's a nice side or relish made from spaghetti squash and a whole lot of lemon.

LEMON!!! (or Lemon) Spaghetti Squash

1 1/2 lemons (or less, see recipe)
1 spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary, plus a little for a garnish
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt

Let's be frank. I used too much lemon in this recipe for a side dish, and it was just dumb luck that it worked as a relish. That said, it was a VERY good relish in my own humble opinion. So, I'll tell you how to make this as a LEMON!!! recipe for use as a relish, and as a Lemon recipe for use as a side dish.

First, we need to get at the flesh of the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, brush it with one tablespoon of olive oil, and roast it in the oven on a baking sheet at 375F for 40 minutes or until soft.

Let the squash cool. While it cools to merely warm, zest your lemons, preferably with a grater. If you are making the relish version of this recipe, use the zest of 1-1/2 lemons. If you are making the side dish version, use the zest of 1/2 a lemon. After you've zested the lemons, squeeze out the juice from 1-1/2 lemons for the relish or 1/2 lemon, plus a little from the second lemon (but not too much). Remove any seeds.

Using a fork, scrape the flesh out of the baked spaghetti squash halves, and separate it into spaghetti-like strands.

Add the rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and nutmeg to the squash and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the squash and sautee until warmed through. Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with rosemary.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at February 14, 2006 5:55 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

It was delicious! BUT. It was especially delicious if you took a spoonful or forkful and then delicately added a bite of juicy fish and ate them together. Heavenly, in fact.

On its own, the lemon was a bit overpowering, as Barrett indicates.

LOVE the photo, Barrett!

Posted by Meg in Paris on February 15, 2006 at 2:38 AM

I don't think there is such a thing as too much lemon for *my* taste. But combining a bite with the fish does seem a perfect solution for the rest of you out there... :-)
And welcome back!

Posted by Monica on February 15, 2006 at 10:00 AM
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