Spaghetti Squash Stuffed with Lentils

This year was the first time we actually got around growing our own vegetables, and our dear parents with their various summer cottages were the ones who really made it possible. We simply grew the seedlings on our windowsill in the spring, planted them in the soil in early summer, and a month later we started getting magical deliveries – puffy broad beans, deep purple bundles of Swiss chard, crispy bunches of purslane, sweet beets, and peppery Daikon radishes amongst other goodies. Last week my mom and stepdad graciously delivered this spaghetti squash to us, along with the Greek basil I used to season the stuffing with!

I combined fresh herbs, my favorite Dijon mustard, and two types of lentils to make a wonderfully aromatic filling for this mild but very pleasing vegetable. Spaghetti squash is not very popular in Finland and in fact I’d never had it before this summer – one of the rewards of growing our own vegetables definitely is that we got to try new ingredients in our cooking.

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved and deseeded
  • olive oil for spraying

I cut the squash in half lengthwise, scraped the seeds off with a spoon, and placed in a baking dish I’d sprayed with a little olive oil. Then I pierced the pumpkin flesh all over with a fork (not breaking the skin though) and baked it for 20 minutes in 175 degrees Celsius.

The Stuffing:

I used a Dijon mustard flavored with bell peppers and garlic, but any kind will work.

  • 2 and 1/2 dl dried lentils (I had half beluga half red lentils)
  • veggie stock (for the lentils to be cooked in)
  • 1 bay leaf (for the lentils as well)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 boiled potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Greek basil leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons Dijon (Provencale) mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • olive oil for frying

I started by cooking lentils with one bay leaf in veggie broth until they were all soft, rinsed them, and removed the bay leaf. Then I fried the onion on medium heat until it was translucent, added the garlic and fried some more. Now, I mashed the potatoes with a fork, combined all the stuffing ingredients in the pan, and filled the squash halves. The filling should be pretty salty, since the squash won’t be salty at all.

Topping:

  • 1 dl pumpkin seeds, coarsely ground
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

I pretty much just combined everything, and then spread the mixture over the stuffed pumpkins.

Now I baked the stuffed squash halves on the lower rack of our oven for about 35 minutes, in 175 degrees Celsius, until the topping had browned, and the squash flesh was soft and could esily be pierced with a fork.

My mom still doesn’t believe the insides of a spaghetti squash can have anything to do with spaghetti, and she’s been using the smaller ones all summer like they were zucchinis. So mom, here! It does look like spaghetti!

6 Comments

  1. Posted September 7, 2008 at 13:02 | Permalink

    Wow. These sound yummy. Very homey and autumnal. I also make spaghetti squash and lentils, though with very different spices. I shall have to give your version a whirl.

  2. Posted September 7, 2008 at 23:17 | Permalink

    I am SO bitter that squashes aren’t popular in Finland. That spaghetti squash looks sooo yummy! I’ve been wanting to them that one for ages!

    I swear, someday I’ll have a small vegetable garden where I can plant my own daikons and other rare veggies. Overall I’m sick of finding only overly priced and bad quality vegs/fruits in our local Finnish stores.. It’s an insane idea for a poor student to “support” purchasing domestic products when they’re sometimes three times more expensive than overseas ones. Uh, sorry for the unnecessary rant.

    Btw I’ve been secretly following your blog for a while and I must agree that this is def one of the greatest Finnish food blogs out there. Every time I browse your delicious images and recipes I’m one step closer giving up my occasional consumption of organic eggs&dairy and turning into a real vegan! <3

    Keep up updating this great blog! Cheers!

  3. Anni
    Posted September 8, 2008 at 10:02 | Permalink

    Kaffein – thanks for your lovely comment, I completely understand what you say about the veggie supply in Finland. I do love buying vegetables at the marketplace in Hakaniemi, but even there many vegetables aren’t locally produced. And squashes would be so easy to grow even in Finland! Hmm, I’ve been dreaming of butternut squash lately, maybe we’ll try to grow that next year…

    Good luck with your vegan aspirations! If you just introduce wonderful new vegan ingredients in your diet, I’m sure that soon you’ll find there’s no need for eggs and dairy anymore!

  4. Posted September 9, 2008 at 19:40 | Permalink

    What a delicious and innovative recipe. And the result looks just gorgeous!

  5. Posted September 14, 2008 at 13:37 | Permalink

    This looks amazing and yummy! :9

  6. Posted December 1, 2009 at 22:00 | Permalink

    wow what beautiful results!

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