Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spaghetti Squash, Arugula & Tomato Salad

This is all veggies, but it satisfies like a big bowl of pasta. 
It's nice and light with yummy, tangy lemon dressing. 
We have fallen in love with spaghetti squash, and I keep putting it in all sorts of dishes and in substitution for noodles in pasta dishes.

I had some arugula I wanted to use, but any greens would work in this dish; spinach, chard or even kale.  I also used some frozen french green beans, broken into bit size pieces to give it some more texture, but again, many other veggies would work, like broccoli. 

Use this salad as a light lunch, or as a side dish for grilled meats.   The salad also kept nicely for lunch leftovers, but the green beans do have a way of discoloring, so be warned.

(I didn't use my yellow bell pepper after all...)

Serves 4-6
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1-2 cups arugula
1 cup french green beans, fresh or frozen
1 bell pepper (optional)
1/4 cup lemon dressing (or more to taste)
Fresh Ground Pepper and Salt

Lemon Dressing
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2-3 garlic cloves
Salt & Pepper

In a blender, add all the ingredients, except the oil.  With the machine running, slowly pour the oil in a slow steady stream.  It should thicken somewhat and be emulsified.  Adjust salt and pepper.  Stores in the fridge for a couple weeks. Perfect for salads or marinades for meat.

Microwave the spaghetti squash for about 15 minutes. BE SURE to poke some holes in it with a sharp knife (carefully...) so that it doesn't explode in your microwave!  Yep, I said explode.... you need a way for this squash to vent as it cooks.

Removing the hot spaghetti squash from the microwave, cut it in half with a serrated knife.  Remove the seed section from the squash, if possible, before shredding the meat of the squash with a fork. (see that darker yellow section with the seeds in it? Take that out!)

You will be amazed at how the squash flesh just falls into perfect little 'noodles'! Taste the squash and see if it is tender enough for your liking, it is a bit more 'al dente' than noodles, but you can microwave it a bit more to soften, if needed.  Cover with some plastic wrap or a paper towel when microwaving it.

Toss right away with the lemon dressing, green beans and the arugula.  The heat from the squash wilts the arugula and beans just the proper amount, and the dressing is absorbed as it cools. Add in the tomatoes and toss carefully, adjusting the salt and pepper, and more dressing if needed! Eat hot, warm or cold.

Here's another spaghetti squash ideas:
Spaghetti with Sun-Dried Tomato-Almond Pesto
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

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