Most of the time Nicoletta and I we are creating main dishes and desserts, but today we thought we would change it up a bit and give you a wonderful side dish recipe created from my love of Asian food and spices, that is beautiful and wonderfully flavorful. Fresh ingredients and a combination of spices and sauces, keeping your taste buds attentive and alive.
I love going to the local Old Strathcona Farmer's Market. Saturday early morning, people eating at the in house restaurant, friends meeting and socializing over coffee or tea, catching up on their lives, merchants setting up, the look of all that fresh organic produce, all those preserves, the smell of fresh farm sausages cooking in the air, people loading their bags with all kinds of goodies, beautiful sights and scents of tulips from the Tulip farmer, announcements of draw winners and lost articles echoing in this old building. I am in heaven. The only dilemma, do I have enough bags, and what do I get, lol. Thanks to a weekly meal plan written down of course helps me navigate to my destinations. I have brought home spaghetti squash, some honey crisp apples and bartlett pears, fresh free range eggs, vine tomatoes, tulips for my wife even if she's miles away at the moment, and some peppers and red leaf lettuce, and baby red potatoes. Just enough things for the week and the best part, nothing will be wasted.
So, when the thought of doing a side dish came up, I immediately thought of the spaghetti squash, and on an excursion with my parents taking them grocery shopping, left me with some nice Asian eggplant. My mind working like a well oiled creative machine, I envisioned the spaghetti squash with a nice Thai flavoring, and the eggplant stir-fried in a nice Szechuan sauce, an inspiration from Padmanadi's vegetarian restaurant, which I have mentioned in other posts, as I love that place. So here you have it, our side dish for today: Coconut Curry Spaghetti Squash with Szehuan Style Eggplant.
The spaghetti squash beautifully roasted in wonderful spices of garlic, ginger, sesame oil and seeds, fresh basil, and a dusting of freshness from the grated lemongrass, slowly cooking upside down allowing all those flavors to steep into the flesh of this golden jewel. Then out of the oven and those wonderful strands of organic heaven lovingly extracted from the shell go into a wok, stir-frying, intensifying the flavor with the heat of the red curry paste, and smooth nutty sweetness from the coconut milk a great partnering with the flavor of the squash. Top this with some stir-fried eggplant sizzling in a sauce of garlic, ginger, hoisin, szechuan and plum sauce bliss, and a bit of vegetable broth to help moisten the eggplant.
This dish is amazing: the texture of the spaghetti squash holding the flavors of the red curry and coconut milk, back drops of the caramelized bits from the roaster, the eggplant soft, spicy, sweet, juicy with every bite, lingerings of ginger and garlic, bits of nutty from the sesame seeds, and that nice bite of fresh basil. I love this dish, Coconut Curry Spaghetti Squash with Szechuan Style Eggplant, great on its own but would be a lovely compliment to the array of dishes turning on the lazy susan turntable, served on an Asian cook night.
Song of the day: "China Girl" by David Bowie. P.s.: This one's for you David!
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