See my previous post about the California walnuts blogger challenge.
Next up: Baked spaghetti squash with California walnut watercress pesto
Spaghetti squash has a high water content and is not as dense in vitamins and minerals as other winter squash, such as acorn or butternut, but does provide 3 percent of the Daily Value for calcium, 5 percent of the DV for Vitamin A, 9 percent of the DV for Vitamin C and 8 percent of the DV for dietary fiber. Spaghetti squash supplies modest amounts of carotenoids, plant substances that the body turns into Vitamin A and that may help protect against some diseases. (Source: Livestrong, which got their information from the USDA).
Squash is abundant this time of year so it seems like a seasonal dish. I baked the squash the day before. It really would be better baked same day and served warm. 1 squash serves 2-4 people, depending on size. (Or in my case, 2-4 meals.) Double the squash if you’d like. The sauce easily makes enough for 4.
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush cut sides of squash with oil, and sprinkle with sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Place squash, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly on sheet on a wire rack, about 10 minutes. This will give you time to make the pesto.
California walnut & watercress pesto
1 small clove garlic , peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup California walnuts, toasted*
2 cups packed fresh watercress leaves (can also use arugula or spinach or any combination)
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese & more for sprinkling on top.
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a food processor or blender, add about 1/2 of the walnuts, watercress, basil, and olive oil. Blend until paste forms.
Stir in Parmesan and lemon juice.
*Toast nuts in toaster oven or oven at 400°F. Watch carefully because they burn easily.
Makes 1 cup
To put the dish together:
Scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands. Place in a large bowl. Top with pesto. Sprinkle with remaining walnuts and one tablespoon of cheese.
Leftover pesto should be transferred to an airtight container. It can be refrigerated up to 3 days.
…I have one more walnut recipe to try and 2 more cups of walnuts (1 in shells).
Update: A few days later I put the pesto on Japanese turnip and celeriac “noodles” that I made with my spiralizer along with kelp noodles.
Final recipe here.