Because food in this country is so cheap, backyard gardening can seem like a pointless exercise. What's the value in growing garbanzo beans when you can buy a pound of them for less than a dollar?
But squash, now. Squash is expensive. It keeps well. It's delicious and easy to cook with. The problem is that you need a LOT of space, and it's more susceptible to garden pests than just about any other plant-- powdery mildew, vine borers, blossom rot. I took the plunge this year and planted 12 starts of 3 different squash-- pumpkin, butternut, and spaghetti. Follow my progress here. While the pumpkins gave me the yield I wanted (7 total fruit, despite problems with mildew), the squash I attempted was less so. The butternuts developed just one fruit, very late in the season and then I caught the vine on a cultivator and accidentally pulled it up anyway. The 3 spaghetti squash vines developed only two female flowers among them, and only one got successfully pollinated. It grew into a beautiful fruit, and tonight I made a fake spaghetti with it.
Spaghetti squash with garden vegetables
1 large spaghetti squash
Fresh vegetables, whatever is available in the garden, about 1 cup per serving
Several garlic cloves
Prepare the squash by cutting it in two and removing the seeds. Place it cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350F/175C for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserts easily. Set aside to cool slightly. I also roasted garlic cloves underneath the squash halves.
Saute vegetables in olive oil (I used green beans, onion, cucumber and basil, but I also could have used eggplant, carrot, broccoli, or chard all of which are growing out back), scrape the squash meat out of the shell and toss with the vegetables. Add almond slivers or pine nuts for crunch, and tomato slices for color (don't cook the tomato). Serve with crumbled feta cheese.
(Everything except the olive oil, nuts, and feta from the garden. Yay!)
3 days ago