When thousands of pounds of fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced spaghetti squash arrived in our pantry the past few weeks, Chef Jimmy Priest and his volunteer staff were hard-pressed to figure out how best to prepare the very hard to safely cut and peel in its uncooked state. “When we’re talking about prepping and feeding enough squash to feed 400 people on any given day, over the course of several days, we have to make sure our volunteers can safely manage cutting the squash, which can be dangerous if you’re not very careful, ” explained Chef Jimmy. The same is true of all winter squashes especially butternut, pumpkin, turban squash, and more.
In Wesley Hall, Chef and his staff played several methods including (at first) peeling them manually (the outer shell is hard and bitter even when cooked) and steaming them, tossing them with seasonings and butter and later turning that into a kind of squash casserole for another interpretation and use, because we waste nothing in our kitchen!
One of the most well-received of all the kitchen’s winter squash wonders was the thinly sliced and roasted variety you see here. The seeds were scooped out before serving with a drizzle of thinly sliced and dressed fresh kale. Delicious! It was the creation of one of our regular, talented volunteer cooks, Tommy McPherson who has known Chef Jimmy since college, many moons ago.
Tommy McPherson’s Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Two medium-sized fresh spaghetti squash
2 – 3tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt (prefer kosher or sea salt)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 F. Rinse the squash thoroughly and dry. Cut through the squash with sharp, large chef’s knife in long strokes, working from the tip of the knife through the squash, cutting horizontally in approximately 1/4″-thick slices. Drizzle baking sheet (you may need two) with half the olive oil or spray generously with non-stick spray and arrange the squash in a single layer. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the squash and season liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast, uncovered for twenty minutes or until very tender and lightly browned. Remove from heat. Scoop out and discard any seeds in the center of the squash rounds. Serve warm with fresh greens, a drizzle of citrus, or even a dash of cinnamon. Delicious and nutritious!