This recipe is rich with life memories. It first takes me back to a childhood road trip through the Midwest. We stopped at a local market, unlike any I had ever seen, and my mother picked up some cherries and mushrooms. Once we got back home, my grandmother made this meal with the mushrooms and the few cherries that we managed to not eat. Through the years the recipe has remained the same with the exception of a few tweaks here and there. When I entered fourth grade, my mother went vegetarian and omitted the prosciutto. Years later, when I got married I reintroduced a protein but used smoked turkey as a healthier alternative. The basil drizzle was added when we made this for my sister’s engagement party, just to make it a bit more fancier. Now, decades later, it is still a tradition at our family’s Thanksgiving dinners. My three kids love the sweetness from the cherries. Amazingly, life does come full circle…the cherries were my favorite part too when I was young!
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1234 per serving
- 1 pounds spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/3 cup, divided
- 1-1/4 cup cherries, stemmed, pitted, chopped
- 1-1/2 cup spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, or to taste
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled
- 4 thin slices smoked turkey breast, chopped
- 1 cup shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper, or to taste
- 4 large Portabella mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean with paper towel
- 12 sage leaves
Preheat oven to 400 F. Brush inside of the squash with 1 tablespoon oil. Place squash, cut side down, on rimmed, baking sheet. Bake 40-45 minutes or until tender. During final 10 minutes of roasting, add cherries to baking sheet with squash. Roast until cherries are beginning to brown around edges. Remove from oven. Using a fork, separate the strands of squash. Immediately, transfer squash to a large bowl and add cherries and spinach; mix until well combined to wilt spinach. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste. (If needed, place squash mixture in a colander to drain off any excess liquid.) Cover; set aside.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, add parsley, basil, garlic, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Process until smooth and pureed. Season with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine turkey, cheese, walnuts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and black pepper. Set aside.
Drizzle mushrooms with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste. In a large nonstick skillet, over medium high heat, place mushrooms gill side down. Cook until beginning to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Flip mushrooms; cook 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Reduce heat to medium. Top each mushroom with turkey-cheese mixture; dividing equally. Top each with 3 sage leaves. Cover; cook until cheese has melted.
Serve mushroom with squash. Drizzle with basil oil. Serve immediately.