A few weeks ago, I came across this recipe in a magazine while visiting my mother, so when I spotted spaghetti squash in the grocery store, I brought the tasty thing home with me. And made them even tastier with the addition of some of Mr. Right’s favorite things: marinated artichokes and cheese. We changed the recipe a bit, naturally—I seem incapable of doing otherwise!
Starting the cooking in the microwave was brilliant, and worked perfectly. Plus it cut the cooking time considerably, and we’ll do that next time we make the Stuffed Squash Bowls. The 80% power instruction amuses me—microwaves do vary—but it worked for us. If you know your microwave is weak, go full-strength!
We used one squash for the two of us, mounding the filling high. If you do have extra filling, it would be lovely inside an omelet. The original recipe called for loosening the squash flesh with a fork, then adding the filling directly to the squash; on a repeat, we’d do as we did with the Stuffed Squash Bowls, and scoop out the innards, adding them to the pot with the other ingredients to mix and heat thoroughly.
These dears are both gluten-free and vegetarian. Of course, they’re not vegetarian if you serve them with grilled chicken, as we did!
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
3 cups fresh spinach, about 3-4 generous handfuls
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup marinated artichokes, drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pierce the squash all over with a knife and place on a plate or other microwave-safe dish. Cook on 80% power for 10 minutes; turn over and cook another 10 minutes, or until a knife slips in easily. Cut in half to cool slightly, and scoop out and discard the seeds.
Meanwhile, in a 6 quart saucepan, warm the olive oil and saute the shallot for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the spinach and salt, and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Scoop the innards out of the squash halves, being careful not to damage the skin, and add to the pot. Add the cream cheese, artichokes, Parmesan, zest, and black pepper. Stir until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
Heat your broiler. Divide spinach mixture in the squash halves and broil on high until browned on top, 3-4 minutes.
Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.
Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?
Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.
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