Tuesday, March 29, 2011

spaghetti squash and chard gratin

Brad thinks I don't like surprises but, I do.  Each week farm fresh to you posts the contents of the box you are going to receive but, I don't peek.  I want to peek but, I don't.  Reason number one is I cherish Carter waiting at the front door on Thursday morning for the farmer to come.  We unload and name each fruit and vegetable.  Love this!  The second reason is it feels like the unveiling of the mystery ingredient on iron chef.  I look at my bounty and then try to piece together some dishes to highlight the seasonal items.  I knew the spring onions and chard that were delivered would fit into my spaghetti squash and mushroom gratin.  I googled the combo and sure enough up popped this variation.  I made it with some changes.  It was delicious.  Brad even ate it.  It is now gone but, it is going to have a second appearance this week for book club as I received more chard this week and I can't stop thinking about it.  Hope the gals like spaghetti squash as much as I do.  If they don't then I guess I will have to eat the left overs.

spaghetti squash and chard gratin
adapted: kalyn's kitchen

1 large spaghetti squash 2-3lbs (~4 cups shredded)
1 teaspoon olive oil
5 spring onions, whites chopped

fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 bunch red/green chard leaves; chopped  (can use spinach, collards, or kale)
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup fat free cottage cheese curds (rinse cottage cheese in strainer with cold water)
3/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese; divided
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400F.

Put halved squash on baking sheet and pour 1/4 cup water around bottom of squash. Roast squash about 45-50 minutes, or until it separates easy into strands when pulled with a fork. Let squash cool for a few minutes, then shred into spaghetti-like strands.  Season with salt and pepper.

While squash cooks, wash chard leaves if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towel. In two batches, stack up chard leaves on top of each other and slice into thin ribbons, then turn the cutting the board the other way and slice again into small pieces. Chop onion.

Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped spring onions, season with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Saute until onion is softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more, then add chopped chard all at once. Cook chard about 1-2 minutes, turning a few times. until it's wilted to about half the size it was. (The chard shouldn't be completely cooked, since it will cook more in the gratin.) Turn off heat.

Put cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water until only the cheese curds remain, then let drain. Spray a gratin dish with non-stick spray.

Using a large fork, gently mix the shredded spaghetti squash into the onion/chard mixture. Combine the sour cream, drained cottage cheese curds, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg and mix into the chard/spaghetti squash mixture. Then put the combined ingredients into the gratin dish, and press down so it's evenly distributed in the dish. Sprinkle top with about 1/4 cup more Parmesan cheese.

Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Serve hot.


Joanne said...

I've been meaning to make this gratin since Kalyn posted it! Looks fantastic. I'm not much for surprises for either except in the form of CSA shares...definitely makes the whole experience more fun!

That Girl said...

This sounds so much healthier than your typical gratin!

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