Spaghetti Squash is a fall vegetable that is in the shape of a nice yellow oval. I first had this in an upscale restaurant in Williamsburg ,VA. When I ordered this item from the menu, I thought I am going to get the spaghetti with squash vegetable. Little did I know that the spaghetti squash was a vegetable by itself and that on cooking, its strands come out like thin spaghetti! When my order arrived, it sure looked like a gourmet dish and I was instantly attracted to its thin strands. That day, I decided I have to learn how to make Spaghetti Squash. Now that the Fall season is in full swing, lots of squash varieties are easily available.
The challenge that one faces with spaghetti squash is the process of cutting into half as the exterior is pretty thick. To overcome this challenge, I resorted to finding an easy way of cutting squash, and came across an extremely useful link. Read more about it at https://www.teaspoonofspice.com/easily-cut-spaghetti-squash-spaghetti-squash-lasagna/
Spaghetti Squash contains fibers that when cooked, converts into thin strands. Hence the method of using microwave for couple of minutes before cutting and then halving it followed by baking it for an hour, releases the strands easily. This winter squash is quite tasteless, as such hence can be used in variety of ways. Mostly people use it as a spaghetti substitute, as if offers only 42 calories per cup of spaghetti squash,probably the lowest among all winter squashes. It is very rich in Vitamin B, Potassium and Magnesium and has a very high content of water.Hence it very useful for weight loss as well as for people suffering from hypertension and Vitamin B.deficiency.
The version presented here, has some more personal touch to it in terms of green chillies, olive oil, black pepper, green onion, broccoli and a hint of red bell pepper. Enjoy this unique gift of nature, that has so many benefits! Spaghetti Squash is so pretty in color, and the texture definitely wins more points as compared to other things in this lovely Fall dish!
Spaghetti Squash - A spicier version of Spaghetti Squash wth easy technique of cutting the squash,
Microwave the spaghetti squash for 1 minute. Cut the ends out. And with a sharp knife cut across the center. Though I cut vertically, somewhere else I read that cutting horizontally gives a longer spaghetti strands. So you can explore either of the options.
Scoop out the seeds thoroughly.
Lay the two halves on the aluminum foil in a baking tray. Bake for approx 30 min at 325 degrees.
Switch the squash upside down and cook for another 20 min in the oven.
Remove from the oven and use a fork to pick through the meat of the squash. This will release the spaghetti strands.
Scoop out all of the spaghetti strands.
In a wok or a large pan, heat the olive oil. Add green onions and green chillies and saute a bit.
Add broccoli florets and saute for 5-6 minutes on high flame.
Add red papers, salt, and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Finally add the spaghetti squash to the mix and mix in all the vegetables, and cook for 3-4 minutes on high flame.
Serve the Spaghetti Squash with some soup and bread or having it just by itself is quite tasty.
One more tool that can be used to cut easily is to poke toothpick all around and which will assist and guide you in cutting the squash easily and in proportion. A dash of lime and ginger may also taste good with this.
Topping of some grated cheese should also be a good addition, as might be baking it with grated cheese on top.
Cutting the spaghetti squash is the most challenging aspect . Once that is mastered, rest is very easy. Once this has been learned you will be tempted to use the spaghetti squash or the normal spaghetti and benefit from the high nutrient content and high water content in the squash.
Felt triumphant on being able to cut the spaghetti squash with just the knife, as came across the pre- heating in microwave recipe later! It was mesmerizing to see the strands come out of the starch in the spaghetti squash, almost like a magic trick! Some spice of black pepper, green chillies, green onions and broccoli gave it a flavor of Pad Thai noodles, giving the spaghetti squash and exciting flavor. Its healthy, its light, its flavorful, its colorful and it is common sense to eat fall colored vegetables in fall season! Thoroughly enjoyed exploring, cooking, and tasting this exotic looking vegetable dish with a highly popular pasta name!
Grape Focaccia is a bread from Northwest Italy, where there is a tradition of having dolce focaccia, meaning sweet focaccia, topped with raisins, honey and sugar. Focaccia bread has lots of olive oil, herbs and salt and could be thick or thin. When I first heard about the word, Focaccia, I was quite intrigued by it. The traditional meaning is “hearth baked flat bread”. The first time I had focaccia bread, in New Zealand it was thick and soft version and had grapes inside it and we fell in love with it. The ingredients in terms of butter, olive, grains in New Zealand are in my opinion the world’s best, because of so little commercialization and population. It’s still very pristine, and our experience of having Focaccia was 18 years ago. Would love to go there, and eat this bread again in Wellington, hoping that bakery/deli shop still exists! Kind of taking a parallel from a current movie Lion, which runs on a similar theme, where a lost boy finds his way home in India, all the way from Australia. I would like to do the reverse to find this sandwich place in Wellington:)
Till then, I will just have to try out my version of the same. And interestingly enough, came across this recipe in Southern Living, and it immediately caught my attention. Though the size was flat, it had an interesting flavor and taste, with olive oil, salt, rosemary, thyme and lavender herbs and the sweetness of red grapes. Using organic and unbleached bread flour, will make the bread more light and flavorful The color and size makes it an attractive appetizer, side dish. Having this on a snowy evening, uplifts you with its sweet aroma and gives you a perfect accompaniment to celebrate the joy the nature provides you everyday!! Providing you this recipe in a new plugin which seems to provide all my needs as an author. Let me know if you like it, by commenting on the contact form!
Happy to be baking and celebrating the first snow of the season, with the warm,sweet, savory flavor of Grape Focaccia!!
Warm the water for 20 seconds in the microwave. Add the water and yeast to the bread maker bowl and leave it for 5 minutes.
Add bread flour, salt, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 tbsp of herbs to the yeast. Select the bread maker to dough and make the dough. The cycle should last about 1 1/2 hours, during which the dough should rise.
Alternatively, if you don't have a bread maker, mix everything in a blender bowl, and mix using a dough blade , mix on medium high for five minutes. Grease some olive oil in a bowl and put the sticky dough in it, and wrap it with plastic wrap and let it rise to double in size in a warm place( under the oven light) for about an hour or more.
Remove the dough after an hour, and transfer to the baking pan. Grease the baking pan lightly with oil, add another 1/4 cup of olive oil, and punch the dough with knuckles. Mix in about 1/3 quantity of grapes and cover again the dough and leave it to rise for another hour.
After an hour, flatter the dough further to the thickness you would like to have, add the balance grapes on top. Garnish it with sea salt, pepper, balance herbs and remaining 1/4 cup oil.
Pre heat convection oven to 425 degrees and bakes for 30 minutes till the top is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool for couple of minutes. Slice into square shapes and serve.
Enjoy your bite of Grape Focaccia!
Feel free to explore with fresh olives, or raisins or any topping of your choice. Fresh Basil also will give a great flavor in the bread.
Normally the focaccia is served in square pieces, but even triangles shapes would look good, and give a pizza feel!
Warmth, love, happiness and joy from outdoors into the indoors! Love the red color of grapes on top, the orange glow of baking and crispiness of the bottom texture in the Grape Focaccia. The crunch mingled with softness of the inside and the fragrance of the herbs and olive and hint of sea salt! Wow baking bread is so so easy and satisfying and the house also warms up the bread aroma!! Bon Appetit!
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