>Spaghetti Squash with Pesto

>We found this weekend that the coming of fall is palpable.  What it means for our kitchen is scooping up the last of our favorite summer treats and transitioning into a new fall lineup.  I started to think ahead to how I can preserve the flavors of summer and enjoy them for a few months longer.  So in this week’s ‘Saturday’s Basket’, greens abound!  Our trip to the South of James Farmer’s Market always starts with a large coffee from Blanchard’s to help get the creative juices flowing and help us sort through what tastes we want for the week.  After we started to wake up, we picked up arugula & green beans from Victory Farms and a squash and basil bunch from Pleitez Produce.  The arugula and basil blended together make a healthy portion of pesto and pesto makes for a great freezer food. Once blended, portion the sauce into ice trays and freeze.  Pop out individual cubes whenever you are craving that summer sweetness.  Pesto paired with spaghetti squash was on plate for a great homemade Sunday dinner.  It’s an easy side dish and makes a great pasta substitute for those curbing the carbs.  Here’s the fix:

1 spaghetti squash

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°.  Slice the squash in half and scoop out the strings and seeds (as you would for a pumpkin).  Place the squash on a baking dish, slice side up and drizzle olive oil over, sprinkle with salt and pepper.   That’s it!  Roast the squash until the fibers start to break down and you can easily shred the ‘meat’ with a fork.  It should fall right out of the shell when scraped.  I’ve found the easiest way to scrape the veggie out is by leaving it in the dish and holding one side with my kitchen tongs.  Shred right in the shell and then transfer to a serving bowl.

Basil and Arugula Pesto:

2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves

1 handful of fresh baby arugula

¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Olive oil

Pinch of salt

A few cracks of fresh ground black pepper

In a food processor, add the greens, nuts and cheese.  While the processor is on, stream in olive oil until the pesto reaches a creamy, loose consistency.  Pesto is a preference food meaning, some like it chunky, some like it loose.  Some like it with a lot of cheese, some with a little.  It is a versatile sauce and dip and taste testing is always necessary.  On the last whirl around the processor, add a little salt (go light, salt is already a big contributor in the cheese so seasoning began with that addition) and a few cracks of pepper to taste.  The arugula will also help to give it a little bite so be sure to taste test as you go so as not to overdo the pepper.

Bring the two together by topping the roasted, hot spaghetti squash with a dollop of pesto.  Turn to coat and serve warm.  It’s a nice nod to summer flavors with a hint of what’s coming for fall.

Basket from market: basil, jalapeno cheddar bread, speghetti squash, arugula and green beans.

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