I ordered a dish similar to this at a California restaurant I visited, and I knew immediately I wanted to come home and recreate it. The al dente squash noodles, mixed with the creamy cheese and tangy balsamic vinegar, and the crunch of the whole grains and nuts was just delicious. You can substitute shredded mozzarella for the mascarpone, if desired. If you do, place the assembled squash boats on a baking tray and broil for a minute or two before serving.
• 2 spaghetti squash, halved and trimmed, seeds removed
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1/4 cup whole grain of your choice (wheat berries, farro, rye berries, spelt, wild rice, etc.)
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
• 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries or tart cherries
• 4 strips bacon or turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled, optional
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or pepitas
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Place squash halves, cut side down, on parchment-lined baking sheet, and brush 1 tablespoon olive oil over skins. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender. Cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, cook grain according to package directions; drain, set aside, and keep warm.
4. When squash is cool to the touch, use fork to scrape out and shred flesh to form “spaghetti.” Reserve skins. Place spaghetti in large bowl.
5. In separate bowl, whisk together remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon, salt and herbs de Provence. Pour over spaghetti, and toss to coat. Add cheese, and toss until melted. Stir in cooked grain, fruit and bacon, if using, and toss to combine.
6. Spoon mixture evenly into reserved squash shells. Garnish each with a generous sprinkling of nuts, and serve immediately.
Try more healthy one-bowl comfort foods.