Spaghetti Squash, Roasted Beets, Beet Greens + Sheep's Milk Ricotta

When opening my CSA box yesterday, I first saw amazing looking beets with pristine greens.  And of course you can already guess, yes, there was a spaghetti squash right along side. What you may not think of as natural partners, became so quickly! 

For a super easy weeknight dinner, and even wonderful for the next day's lunch IF there is any leftover, this dish is a new family favorite.  Flavorful in all its glory and so nutritious you can almost feel your body cheering!

Spaghetti squash also fits well into a low-carb meal plan. Low in sugar and with plenty of fiber, it allows a good sized portion leaving you feeling satiated and light at the same time. Since it is fairly flavor neutral, it makes a great base to highlight whatever sauce accompanies it. As a bonus, you'll get small amounts of almost every essential vitamin from eating spaghetti squash. Vitamin C and vitamin B-6 are the vitamins found in highest concentration. Vitamin C plays a role in the growth and repair of body proteins, aids in wound healing and supports your immune system. It's also an antioxidant that helps defend your body against harmful free radicals. Vitamin B-6 is involved in over 100 enzyme reactions in your body, including energy metabolism and hemoglobin production.

And this is a recipe even for those who are not yet sure about beets. Their roasty flavor in the sauce makes believers out of doubters! Nutritionally, beets serve as a good source of folate, a B vitamin. When you eat beets, you also boost your manganese intake which keeps your brain and nerves functioning correctly and contributes to your body’s ability to make certain hormones and connective tissue. They are also a terrific source of potassium and magnesium. As a bonus, recent studies show that including beets in your meal plan may improve the health of your colon. Not bad for a vegetable that isn’t often in the spotlight! Enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Beets, Beet Greens + Sheep's Milk Ricotta

Serves 4

1 large sized spaghetti squash
2 large beets
½ medium yellow onion
juice of 2 lemons
5 cloves garlic
spring water, as needed to thin sauce
¼ cup walnuts, lightly toasted
olive oil
red pepper flakes, to taste
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
beet greens, washed and roughly chopped
½ cup sheep’s milk ricotta

Preheat oven to 425.

Wash and wrap beets in foil. Halve squash and remove the seeds. Place cut side down into glass baking pan. Place both the beets and squash in the oven at the same time. At about 30 minutes into the roasting, place 4 garlic cloves (that have been wrapped in foil) in the oven alongside the vegetables for a gentle roast. Check vegetables after 15 more minutes for a total of 45 minutes. Roast until fork tender.

Once everything is roasted, let the beets and squash cool just enough to handle. Pop garlic out of its skin. Set aside. While the vegetables are cooling, gently sauté the onion in a scant bit of olive oil until translucent. Place beets, onion, garlic, lemon juice, a drizzle or two of olive oil and a dash of sea salt and pepper all into a Vitamix blender. Blend on low, them medium, until all is incorporated. Set aside.

Quickly sauté the beet greens in a scant bit of olive oil with one smashed garlic clove. Set aside. Keep warm.

For the squash, with a fork, scrape the squash from the skin into spaghetti like strands. Mix with a bit of red pepper flakes. Place squash into serving bowls, a quick grind of salt and pepper, add a drizzle of oil if you like. Then top with beet sauce, 2 Tablespoons of ricotta and sprinkle with walnuts. Place the beet greens alongside.


Andrew Atom Yard
Andrew Atom Yard

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