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Fall flavors call us home

SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH CRISP BRUSSELS SPROUT LEAVES

Makes 4 servings

1 (3 to 31⁄2 pound) spaghetti squash

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups brussels sprouts

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut edges with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cayenne. Place cut side down on a foil-lined bake pan and roast until the squash can be pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.

2. Remove the stem end from the sprouts and break each apart into individual leaves.

3. In a large saute pan over medium heat, toss garlic with remaining tablespoon of olive oil until golden brown. Remove garlic and discard. Add the brussels sprouts leaves to the pan, sprinkle with coarse salt and saute, stirring frequently, until leaves are very brown and crispy.

4. Meanwhile, use a large fork to scrape the flesh from the squash. Add the squash to the pan with the sprouts, tossing just to reheat the squash. Season with more salt and pepper as desired and add the Parmesan just before serving.

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Updated: December 7, 2013 6:07AM



Several years ago, after a particularly brutal winter, I moved from Chicago to a Southern state. I was sure I would be happy to leave behind the heavy coats and deep snow drifts.

And, for several months, I was happy. In spring the wildflowers sprouted in the dry landscape in a riot of colors. Not the daffodils and tulips I was used to, but beautiful nonetheless. Summer came with full force and acquainted me with weeks of 100-plus degree temperatures and I began to long for Lake Michigan breezes. But when the fall arrived, ah, that’s when I missed my hometown the most.

Yes, I missed my friends and deep-dish pizza. But what I realized I was missing most as the fall months arrived was a sound. It was the crackle of colorful dry leaves on the ground, just begging me to walk through them and shuffle my feet and kick them into piles.

By the time fall rolled around the following year, I was back in snow country!

Recently, as I walked to my neighborhood farmers market, I realized I was hearing that rustle once again. The sound of fall announcing that my favorite season had begun.

And in the market, ready to confirm the calendar change, there were mounds of colorful squashes. Then I spied a 3-foot-long stalk of beautiful brussels sprouts and I remembered that rustle of leaves.

I chose a pale yellow spaghetti squash and then strolled home, kicking leaves all the way. I knew this dish was going to make me smile — the crispy leaves in contrast to the soft spaghetti-like strands of squash would be my invitation to fall to come on into my kitchen and stay a while!

SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH CRISP BRUSSELS SPROUT LEAVES

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

1 (3 to 31⁄2 pound) spaghetti squash

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups brussels sprouts

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut edges with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cayenne. Place cut side down on a foil-lined bake pan and roast until the squash can be pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.

2. Remove the stem end from the sprouts and break each apart into individual leaves.

3. In a large saute pan over medium heat, toss garlic with remaining tablespoon of olive oil until golden brown. Remove garlic and discard. Add the brussels sprouts leaves to the pan, sprinkle with coarse salt and saute, stirring frequently, until leaves are very brown and crispy.

4. Meanwhile, use a large fork to scrape the flesh from the squash. Add the squash to the pan with the sprouts, tossing just to reheat the squash. Season with more salt and pepper as desired and add the Parmesan just before serving.



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