Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Bowls
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This Mediterranean take on spaghetti squash is the perfect way to pack a punch of flavor. With garlic, lemon juice, and a pepita pesto, this bowl is fresh and flavorful.
For the spaghetti squash and filling:
2 spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup of chopped red onion
1/4 cup of thinly sliced Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil and/or parsley
1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese
For the parsley-basil pesto:
1/4 cup of pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup of packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of water
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1. To prepare the spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 400 and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut off the tip-top and very bottom ends of each spaghetti squash. Stand the squash upright on a stable surface and slice through it from top to bottom to divide it in half. Repeat with the other squash.
2. Use a large spoon to scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds and discard them. Drizzle each squash half with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and rub it all over the inside and outside of the squash, adding more oil if necessary. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly over the interiors of the squash, then place them cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the interiors are easily pierced through with a fork.
3. Meanwhile, to prepare the chickpea salad, combine the chickpeas, bell pepper, onion, olives, chopped basil and/or parsley, garlic, lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and salt. Stir to combine. Taste and add more lemon juice and/or salt if necessary. Set aside.
4. To prepare the pesto: In a small skillet, toast the pepitas over medium heat, stirring often, until they are fragrant and making little popping noises, about 5 minutes. Pour the pepitas into a food processor and let them cool for a few minutes. Then, add the basil, parsley, lemon juice, water, and salt. Process while slowly drizzling in the olive oil, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary, until the pepitas have broken down to create a pretty smooth sauce. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl for serving.
5. To assemble, use a fork to fluff up the squash. Then, divide the chickpea salad between the squash "bowls" and top each one with a generous drizzle of pesto. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped herbs and cheese, if desired.
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