From time to time I’ll go perusing through the grocery stores or the local farmer’s market in search of odd looking fruits and vegetables. Things with weird shapes, or unpronounceable names, or if it has a touch of mad science is strangely appealing to me. Often times it’s a hit like when I discovered dragon fruit or a dud like when bitter melon made my culinary rotation. But I continue to look for strange and wonderful foods, that’s how I discovered spaghetti squash.
I was drawn to this oblong, yellowish vegetable stacked in a great big pile at my local fruit and veg shop. Perhaps it was the curious shape and colour of the thing. Or maybe it was the $0.99/lb (CDN) price that caught my frugal-oriented eye. Whatever it was, I decided right there that this hunky piece of squash was coming home with me!
In honour of National Curry Week in the UK (thank god that’s a real thing!), I am posting this simple, healthy, yet oh so delicious curried squash recipe.
Prep time | 10-15 mins Cook time | 1 hr 30 mins Yield | 4
Yields: 4 servings
What you need:
3/4 cup roasted grape tomatoes (plum, vine, or cherry can be used)
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 lbs/1.5 kg), halved and seeded. Tip: if you have a large squash (6-7 lbs/3-3.5 kg) then just use 1 of the halves, cut lengthwise
3 tbl plus 1 tbl of olive oil
salt and pepper to season
1/2 red onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced fine
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest
1 cup chickpeas (can be from can or dried and cooked beforehand)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together 1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes (halved lengthwise) with the garlic, 1 tsp of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Pour tomatoes onto a large glass baking dish, spreading in an even layer, and bake for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid from the tomatoes is gone. Stir the tomatoes from time to time so it doesn’t stick to the dish and burn.
2. Turn down the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the halved spaghetti squash cut side up on a baking dish and brush it with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast for about 45-50 minutes, until the flesh is tender. Let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Half way in to the baking, you can start making the curry. In a large wok, heat the remaining 3 tbl of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and carrot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until everything is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, chili powder, and lime zest, and cook, stirring, until fragrant for about 1 minute. Add the chickpeas and the water and simmer until the vegetables are very tender and there is only a little liquid left, about 5 minutes. Take off the burner.
4. Rake the squash into strands using a fork, there should have about 3 cups of squash. Add the chopped cilantro and squash to the curry along with the roasted tomatoes; season with salt and pepper to taste.