Meatless Monday–Spaghetti Squash with Herbs and Hazelnuts

Do you ever kind of forget about foods you really love?  I do.  Maybe it’s because the food blogger in me is always looking for something different.  Maybe it’s because I’m not at all a picky eater, so I don’t tend to stick to the same small handful of foods day after day.  Perhaps I’m just forgetful.  Whatever the reason, I’m also so glad when I remember a food I love that has been neglected.  It’s like the food equivalent of opening the container of Christmas decorations and finding one you’d forgotten you had.

Sadly, spaghetti squash fell off my radar for quite some time.  I’m not sure how it happened, because when fall and winter arrive, I can usually be found in the produce section of the grocery store with a BUY ALL THE SQUASH kind of thing going on.  Thankfully, my friend made spaghetti squash last week and reminded me of my love.

This meal was the second time I had spaghetti squash in one week and I am love. ing. it.  It’s beyond simple to prepare, uses few ingredients, and tastes fantastic.  As a bonus, you can roast the squash one night, then scrape it and finish the recipe the next night, which makes for a perfect quick weeknight meal.  Plus, scraping the squash into strands is so much fun!  With so many great things going on in one simple dish, I doubt I’ll forget my love of spaghetti squash ever again.  

spaghetti squash herbs hazelnuts

Spaghetti Squash with Herbs and Hazelnuts
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 (4 lb.) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
olive oil for brushing
1 TBSP packed light brown sugar
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. chopped basil
1/4 c. chopped parsley
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. chopped toasted hazelnuts

1.  Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.  Brush cut sides of squash with oil, the sprinkle with brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet with cut sides down.  Roast until tender 40-45 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

2.  With a fork, gently scrape squash flesh into long strands.  Place in a large bowl and add Parmesan, herbs, lemon zest and juice, hazelnuts, and salt and pepper.  Toss, then taste and adjust seasonings.  Sprinkle hazelnuts on top and serve immediately.

Yields: 3-4 entrée servings or 6 side servings

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