The holidays are here. Oh yes they are. I made this Spaghetti Squash Salad just so that I could take a moment and breath.
If your holidays are anything like mine the dwindling days between now and the new year are filled with shopping lists and parking lots. The nights are packed just as tight with loud, laughing parties for work or with friends, friends, more friends, and friends of friends. Breathe, Greg. Breathe.
Some of these events probably include a celebratory dinner or two. The kind that will keep you out of breath and in the kitchen for hours and hours (if not days and days). These multi-coursed marathons are mandatory this time of year. After all, standing rib roasts are once-a-year affairs (at least in my house). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m looking forward to all the exuberance. Really I am. But sometimes you’ve just got to give yourself a breather with the gift of a quiet dinner at home with special friends or maybe just that one special someone. After all, the season is meant to be enjoyed. A quiet, simple meal is one of my favorite ways to celebrate.
Another way I know the holidays are fast approaching is the state of my wine cellar. It always seems that by December there quite a few special bottles of wine stacking up– and they start calling my name.
Some will be cellared more deeply (where I can’t hear them), some may find their way under the Christmas trees of close friends. The loudest chorus comes from wines that were set aside in previous years for a glamorous evening spent with a rib roast or the like. But some sing so sweetly that I just know they’re destined to be enjoyed on a quiet evening at home.
Lula Cellars 2012 Costa Vineyard Pinot Noir
Pairs well with grilled salmon, seared duck breast, and grilled lamb chops
It’s these moments that I like to make something simple to highlight the special wine I’ve chosen for quieter evenings. Just because a wine is special (or even quite expensive) doesn’t necessarily mean I need to reach too deeply into my culinary bag of tricks to do the wine justice. Holidays, aside, I wouldn’t want to make a meal that struts all over the special qualities of a special wine I’ve been looking forward to sampling.
Spaghetti Squash Salad and Lula Cellars Pinot Noir
This Farro and Spaghetti Squash Salad is the perfect example of a the kind of simple meal that deserves a special wine. It’s studded with little jewel like dried cranberries which gives the salad its holiday flair and makes eating it by the Christmas tree seem like the right thing to do. The pomegranate juice in the dressing carries the weight of the nutty farro nicely. There’s barely any vinegar in the dressing, which means the Lula Cellars 2012 Costa Vineyard Pinot Noir doesn’t have to work too hard to out swagger the salad. I also need to mention that the spaghetti squash I used for this special meal was grown right on the same property in the Anderson Valley as the grapes in the pinot noir. I’m not saying I stole it (exactly). But they were born to be together.
Now go ahead and breath. Enjoy the holidays. I hope you can put aside some time for a quiet dinner at home. I’m sure glad I did. GREG
I love this salad and I know what you mean about needing to slow down and breathe during the holidays. I try to balance indulgences with something simple and delicious. Hope you had a great Christmas, Greg!~
Spaghetti squash is a recent fav of mine
and this is a delicious salad I’m going to introduce to my
Yum! Spaghetti squash is my favorite! Looks good
I love gifting myself with quiet dinners at home…too many nights out and i become a train wreck! This salad is totally my jam
I’ve only recently started eating spaghetti squash as a hot dish and am really loving it’s versatility, LOVE the idea of using it in a salad.…very creative!
It’s summer, it’s hot and all I want are salads — even winter salads. It’s bad enough that Santa wears shorts and kids leave him beer but I miss a traditional Christmas dinner. It’s just too hot and everyone here has seafood and salads and maybe a ham. I think this spaghetti squash salad would look good on the Christmas table.
What a beautiful vegetarian dish! And I love the wine pairing write-up from Ken. Pinot noirs have continued to confound me-the more I taste the more I’m unsure I’ll ever know what I’m talking about so a pairing is well appreciated:)
I’ve never made a salad with spaghetti squash before. This is definitely something delicious that i have been missing out on Greg!
Greg!! Luv this salad with the farro and spaghetti squash. Your Pomegranate Vinaigrette looks absolutely marketable — great ingredients working together.
Your vinaigrette looks so yummy! Nice salad.
Now I’m wishing our CSA had given us a spaghetti squash, because this sounds excellent! I bet some toasted nuts would be a great garnish.
Great idea. I might even serve this hot and just be judicious with your same vinagrette. I’m saving the recipe to try.
Greg — we are just the opposite of you guys this year — quiet nights, home alone, in our pajamas. But the food is still celebratory and we will need a few lighter items like this to enjoy! Thanks to Ken for the Pinot Noir recommendation! Party on, young man. We elders will watch from the sidelines.
If you really like farro you could have a grain silo attached next to your kitchen and to avoid going out to it, you could plumb a connection directly from it to a dial controlled chute in the kitchen. Then when ever you wanted some, you would just turn on your farro faucet.…
Well I tried.
I’ve never tried spaghetti squash in a salad before! This is a lovely idea Greg! And the cranberries and feta mixed in there sounds delicious.
Pinned! I had a farro salad tonight, but it wasn’t nearly as special as this one!!