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.
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.
- 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!