Fennel, Fig, and Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash

I am so proud of this dish! This was my first homemade, completely from scratch, meal in my apartment. I made it about a month after I had moved in. I do not take for granted how much work I have put in or the sacrifices I have made to get to this point. One of the greatest things I have learned with all of the recent changes in my life, is to have a hobby and to be proud of it.

To be honest, I got inspired watching an older episode of Guys Grocery Games. They had one of Guy’s mischievous challenges and the chefs could only cook with ingredients starting with the letter “F.” Fennel and figs were in almost every dish and I thought, yea I could do something with that. Now, I had never cooked with fennel or figs before, so this was a fun new experiment. Since I was trying to be healthier at the time (that has since changed), I used spaghetti squash.  The dish as an overall was delicious! There are a few things I will change when I make it again, including not being so heavy handed with the red pepper flakes and salt, adding a few chopped grape tomatoes, maybe even shrimp, and adding more freshness (less oil and cheese, more lemon). Listed below are the ingredients and steps.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sliced Fennel
  • 2 cups chopped Baby Spinach
  • 2 cups Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 cup sliced Figs
  • 1 tbsp. Onions
  • 1 tbsp Shallots
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice (Fresh)
  • Goat Cheese
  • Red Pepper Flakes- amount to taste
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • White wine – 1/2 for deglazing, the rest for drinking. HEYO!
  • Mint- amount to taste
  • Parmesan

Steps:

  • Preheated over to 400 degrees.
  • Cut spaghetti squash in half and clean out the seeds. Salt, pepper, and olive oil. Place on cooking tray and let bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
  • While the squash is cooking, prepare your ingredients – think cutting and measuring out. If you fancy, Mise en Place.
  • Sautee onions and shallots in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in fennel and red pepper flakes and reduce.
  • Deglaze pan with white wine and cook till alcohol has been cooked out.
  • Add figs and lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook till wilted.
  • “Shred” spaghetti squash and add to mixture and toss. (Only the amount you will eat at that sitting)
  • Plate and top with fennel fronds, mint, goat cheese, parmesan, and lemon juice.

The only other thing I would change outside of the actual ingredients; do not mix spaghetti squash with fennel/fig mixture for storage. I would store them in different containers and reheat together.

The fun thing about cooking is making it your own. I love reading food blogs and getting ideas. I hope I can inspire you to use similar ingredients, but use them in your own way. Food is art, as ‘cheesy’ as that sounds.

 

-R

 

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