I have tried to be a vegetarian, really. I once tried in college but the allure of bacon was like a siren’s song that could not be denied. That said, I really don’t like meat much, so I do eat lots of veggies, especially when they are coming from my garden.
Best Homegrown Vegetables
What’s my favorite vegetable from the garden? It has to be spaghetti squash. For one thing, they grow so darn fast it’s exciting to wake up in the morning and see what else they’ve clamored up because, yes, I grow them vertically – well mostly. Our property is surrounded by a not-so private chain-link fence that for four months of the year is covered in vines of all types, including squash.
So what do I like to make with spaghetti squash? Well, obviously, I use it as a pasta substitute and slather it with tomato basil or spicy pepper sauce. I cut the squash in half, rub the cut side with olive oil and then roast it in the oven cut side down on a baking sheet. When the squash is done, I scoop out the guts and then use immediately or freeze for later.
The other great thing about growing spaghetti squash is its shelf life, which is a good thing because I harvest LOTS of them. They don’t have to be used or frozen immediately. In fact, they will keep for months in a cool basement. This appeals to my lazy side which is busy harvesting other end-of-season fruits and veggies that must be canned, dried, frozen or made into sauce quickly.
Other Spaghetti Squash Recipes
Another delicious recipe for spaghetti squash is to make them into cakes – think potato pancakes. I do this with zucchini too. The cakes can be seasoned any way you like and can be done with freshly cooked squash or with some that’s been previously frozen and thawed. If you use frozen, you will need to squeeze as much moisture out of them as possible before mixing up the cakes.
If spaghetti cakes aren’t your thing, whip up a spaghetti sauce gratin or sauté cooked squash with shallots, garlic, salt and pepper, and then finish with a chiffonade (fancy way of saying thinly sliced) of fresh sage and asiago cheese. Sublime!
Another awesome thing about spaghetti squash are the seeds. Yes, we save some for sowing the following year, but many of them are roasted with other winter squash seeds into a crunchy snack. Season them simply with sea salt and olive oil or go nuts and try other flavorings like curry. Have you ever bought pumpkin seeds? They can be expensive. These also make great, inexpensive holiday gifts that will keep fresh for months in an airtight container until ready to use.
Truly the wonders of squash will never cease to amaze me. Grow some spaghetti squash yourself and see how versatile they can be.