Spaghetti squash is an often-overlooked vegetable. But it’s a very powerful ingredient from a brain-health perspective: it’s low in saturated fat, very low in cholesterol, and a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid—plus spaghetti squash is a very good source of vitamin C. In this recipe, strands of baked spaghetti squash are the backdrop for sweet caramelized onions that contrast against salty, savory Parmesan cheese. This dish will appeal to adults and kids alike, and it’s a great way to get pasta lovers to eat more vegetables.
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1/2 spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds), seeded
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
Curry Salt, to taste (see below)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1 ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
1/2 cup fleur de sel
4 tsp curry powder
At a glance:
1 hr 20 min
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet and the flesh of the squash with a little olive oil. Set the squash half cut side down on the baking sheet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the squash and bake, uncovered, until a fork inserted into the thickest part of the flesh meets no resistance, 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
3. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
4. Using a fork, scrape the squash from the skin into a medium bowl; the flesh will separate into spaghetti-like strands (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Return the skillet with the onion to medium heat and add the squash. Cook, tossing gently, just until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with Curry Salt; go easy because the cheese will add salt, too. Toss in the cheese and chives and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the tomatoes and cilantro and serve right away.
To make Curry Salt:
Mix the salt and curry powder until well combined. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (the flavor of the salt gets better with age). This recipe will not go bad over time.
Reprinted with permission from The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook: Recipes to Boost Brain Health by Dr. Marwan Sabbagh and Beau MacMillan, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. Photo credit: Caren Alpert.