Spring is here.. apparently. That is, if you go by the calendar. There have been some teaser days spent mostly outdoors, along with a few healthy thunderstorms. However, I am not measuring the change of seasons by this criteria -- the evidence that I seek is the vegetables! Oh, how I long to fill my produce bin with hearty stalks of asparagus, glorious globe artichokes, and the rare treat of fresh green peas. Any day now I will have my way. In the meantime I am cooking up the last of the winter squash and playing make believe with this green pea pesto of the frozen pea variety. I must say, dinners like this make the wait not so bad!
Spaghetti Squash with Green Pea Pesto and Beans
1 large spaghetti squash (3-4 lbs)
1 15 oz can cannellini beans (or chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, diced (or 1/2 cup red onion, diced)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
salt to taste
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp olive oil (or water for lower fat)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 small clove of garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Squash: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Halve the squash and scoop out and discard the seeds. Rub or spray the insides with a small amount of oil and place halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast for 60-90 minutes, until cooked through and starting to lightly brown at the edges. Set aside to cool. (I did this a day ahead).
Pesto: Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and process for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary. A few minutes before serving transfer to a small pot and warm gently over med-low heat.
Beans: Coat a skillet with cooking spray and saute shallots over medium heat until softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, and about a tablespoon of water (to prevent sticking) and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Stir in beans and tomatoes and saute gently until hot, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
Assembly: Use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti squash into strands. If necessary, reheat the squash in the microwave or on the stove top in a skillet with cooking spray over medium heat. Divide up the squash into four servings. Top with desired amount of sauce (I found 1/4 cup each to be adequate) and divide up the beans among the four plates. Garnish with a few peas and fresh basil leaves if desired. Serve hot.