I’ve waited out these last bits of winter weather with a lot of “necessity” cooking. Plenty of large batches of quinoa and roasted veggies have come out of my kitchen, and very few photo-worthy dishes. But now that I’ve pushed past coat season, I can taste the summer. The Mister Softee trucks have started re-appearing in my neighborhood. I walked through a street fair yesterday, rejoicing at the sight of gyro tents and chopped watermelon cups. I keep telling myself that these next few days are key, that I have to soak up this glorious in-between moment before things move into full-fledged, subway-platform-sweating summer. I’m trying.
Pesto always reminds me of summer, despite the fact that I eat it year round. This recipe is a great way to get some extra greens in, as it hides a solid amount of spinach in the sauce. The tomatoes add a touch of acidity. I left the garlic out of the pesto in honor of my colleagues, who have to speak to me moments after I eat this dish for lunch, but feel free to blend in a raw clove. This made four large portions with a large squash.
1 large bunch of basil leaves
1/2 a bag of fresh baby spinach (about 3-4 oz)
1/2 cup of raw almonds
1 large spaghetti squash
1 container cherry tomatoes (10-16 oz)
Olive oil, salt, pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using a large, very sharp knife and cutting board, slice your spaghetti squash lengthwise. Use a regular spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them.
Meanwhile, combine the spinach, basil, and almonds in a food processor or blender.
Add in tablespoons of water and oil as needed. I started with 2 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of oil, blended my greens, then added in another bunch of spinach and added another 2 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of oil. You want to avoid adding too much liquid.
Remove your squash after 30 minutes and pour the water carefully out in the sink. Your squash will be very hot, so be cautious when flipping them. Use a fork to flip your squash so that the inside is facing up. Let cool.
While the squash cools, rinse your tomatoes and dump them into the same pan. Roast whole in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until you notice that some have opened or wrinkled. Remove from heat.