Warm Spaghetti Squash Salad With Beurre Meunière, Tomatoes, and Feta

Beurre Meunière is typically a classical preparation. Though its origins are peasantry, it is known to require technicality and execution. I say this, because I have seen burnt butter before [which is also delicious in certain circumstances, of course, but not suitable for Beurre Meunière]. To make it, most combine browned butter, lemon, parsley and/or thyme (and also sometimes capers), to form a sauce for fish. The fish is first dredged in flour. Hence, “à la meunière.” Mind the gender stereotyping and heteronormativity, but: this means by the miller’s wife. [Because flour was available in the home.]

Just as its outdated backstory could use a fine revamp, this preparation gets reinvented here for the purpose of spaghetti squash. Cayenne speckles the golden milk solids in the browning butter. We mix parsley, thyme, and oregano for our herbs. We substitute Castelvetrano olives for capers in the name of Brine. All of it coats yellow tangles of warm spaghetti squash and grilled chicken. Serve it with juicy bursts of freshly diced tomato and salty bites of crumbled feta. Hummus, optional. Picked and chosen, tangled and crumbled, hot and cold, spiced and herbal, queer and colorful, soothing and delicious.

Warm Spaghetti Squash Salad with Beurre Meunière, Tomatoes, and Feta
Serves 8-10

1 3lb spaghetti squash, halved and deseeded
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped (tempeh would also work well here, vegetarian friends)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp high-quality salted butter
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/2 red onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced and divided
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and chopped
To serve: diced tomato, feta cheese, and hummus (as desired)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place deseeded squash halves face down on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Use a spoon to scoop on the insides, and a fork to gently separate the striations into thin strands. Mix in chicken and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil, butter, and cayenne on medium heat. Allow the butter to foam and pop, then turn golden. Reduce heat to medium low and add black pepper, red onion, shallot, and white parts of scallions, stirring to coat. Once the onion mixture has softened and become translucent, stir in squash mixture. Season with thyme, oregano, and parsley. Stir in olives, and season to taste with more black pepper, if necessary (I find that salt is unnecessary, due to the presence of olives and feta in this recipe, but feel free to add some here to taste, as well). To serve, scoop out warm salad and sprinkle with diced tomato and crumbled feta, with a dollop of hummus on the side.

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