Depth of flavor with simple ingredients, this is a great recipe for batch cooking because it comes together pretty quickly after the squash is roasted and removed from the shell. The flavors all meld so well and the umami flavors of the olives and sun-dried tomatoes really give it depth. I urge you to try it soon!
I’ve been wanting to roast some spaghetti squash for a while now, and I finally got one and set it in motion. I wanted to make it vegetarian but a real main course, so I added some chickpeas for protein, other veggies for nutritional value and color and greens because, well, greens! Then I started thinking about how to add some real depth of flavor. That’s where the green olives and the sun-dried tomatoes came in. I happened to have amazing sun-dried tomatoes from my most recent trip to Italy, and I fell in love with these massive green olives from Castelvetrano, Sicily. They have a Kermit-green hue, meaty, buttery flesh, and a mild flavor. You can find them in certain grocery stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts here in Arizona. You probably could order them online as well. They are a bit more expensive than more commonly found olives, so keep that in mind. They are worth discovering, but certainly not essential. Any olive that you love will work here. You could also consider using capers instead.
I must say, between the roasted flavor of the squash and the browning of the chickpeas and aromatics, and then the olive and sun-dried tomato combo, I don’t think you can go wrong.
If you roast the squash ahead of time, this dish can come together in under 30 minutes. I would recommend against microwaving the squash if you want the best flavor, but it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t if you are pressed for time. It’s just that the roasting of the squash – especially if roasted long enough to get some light browning on parts – is part of what brings the flavors together. I’m thinking that you could possibly microwave the squash until almost done and then put it in a very hot oven, cut side up, and finish it that way. I have not tried it this way, so if you do, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
I hope you will give this recipe a try and if you do, I’d love to hear about it and maybe see some photos! Have fun! Mwah!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas, Lemon and Greens
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 shallots or red onion
- 3 cloves garlic sliced, use less if desired
- 1 large carrot sliced
- 1.5 cups chickpeas cooked (or canned)
- 2 cups chopped greens I used Swiss chard
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 Tablespoon minced rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes I used fresh habanero chili, seeded and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek powder optional
- 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 8-10 olives, pitted and cut in half I used green Castelveno olives
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted garnish
- 2-3 Tablespoons chopped parsley garnish
- Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese optional garnish
- 1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).2. Slice your squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle. Place the squash on a baking sheet, cut side up. Rub with olive oil (or other cooking oil of choice) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn the squash cut side down and roast for about 1 hour or until the flesh is tender and you can scrape noodle-like strands with a fork. (If your squash is difficult to cut, roast it whole for the first 20 minutes until it softens a bit, then cut, season and continue).3. Remove squash from the oven, and let it cool so you can handle it.4. While the squash is cooling, in a large skillet (I used a large wok pan) over medium heat, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan, then add the shallots (or onion), garlic, rosemary, chili flakes, fenugreek (if using), salt and pepper.5. Once the shallot starts to soften, add the carrots and chickpeas and cook until carrots are almost cooked and things turn lightly golden brown. 6. Take this cooking time to use a fork to scrape the squash into strands and set aside. I put about 1/4 of the squash away for another use, but I had a large squash. Use as much as you like. Keep a watch on your pan on the stove while doing this. 7. Once your carrots are ready, add the chopped greens and lemon juice, and give everything in the pan a good stir.8. Once the greens are partially wilted, add the squash strands, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and more salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to incorporate. 9. Remove from heat and top with toasted pine nuts, parsley and grated cheese, if desired. Save some for serving. 10. Place into individual serving bowls and top with reserved garnishes.