Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she's dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.
We made a big family transition and moved to the south when I was 15 years old. I still remember that awkward feeling of trying to navigate the teenage years, making new friends, and attempting to "look cool" throughout it all. There were several families who reached out to us during the first year and made us feel welcome - I'll never forget who they were.
There is truth to Mary Angelou's words...
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
One woman in particular befriended my mom and invited her over to split some flowers from her garden so that my mother could start landscaping our previously neglected new house. Their friendship blossomed over a mutual interest in gardening and she would send my mom home with produce throughout the summer. I walked into the house one day to the sweetest smell radiating from the oven. That afternoon we tried roasted spaghetti squash for the first time, and I truly thought the south was heaven.
It's been years since that day, but I was walking through the grocery store with the kids and the squash called my name. Never having cooked them myself, I bought two with no clue what to do with them. A little research and it seemed that roasting was the way to go! This recipe is full of so many mouth-watering flavors and I think it would work beautifully as a side in the autumn months ahead, or as a stand-alone lunch. This recipe does call for pine nuts...which are expensive...but you could easily sub toasted almonds or another favorite. I loooooove the texture.
//GARLIC SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH HERBS
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side Ingredients:
- 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (sage is also yummy)
- ¾ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rub squash with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, until fork tender. Let cool about 10 minutes, then scrape the insides with a fork to pull the strands away from the skin. (At this point I put the strands in a colander, pressed them with a paper towel, and let them rest while I prepped the other ingredients - mine were really really heavy and watery, so this helped get some of the excess moisture out.)
- In a large skillet, heat 2½ tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1½ minutes, until fragrant. Stir in spaghetti squash, vinegar, herbs, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook for about 2 minutes to heat through. Remove from heat and stir in Gruyère cheese, then top with pine nuts. Taste and add salt or pepper if desired.
Source: Pinch of Yum