The pasta threads from roasted spaghetti squash are regularly found in gratins and faux pasta recipes, but this wonderfully light, room-temperature salad uses them tossed in a deliciously tart agrodolce (aka sweet and sour)... dressing. This special dish is perfect during the holidays when tossed with cranberries. The tart flavors of this delicious cooked salad are also a welcome change from the usual heavy holiday fare.
Place squash cut side down on a large roasting pan. Add one inch of water. Bake until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine honey, vinegar, crushed red pepper, orange zest, orange juice, and salt. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Scoop squash from shell into spaghetti-like strands with a fork. Combine with sauce and chopped parsley. Serve at room temperature, scattered with soaked dried cranberries if using.
Recipe by Jonathan Deutsch, Drexel Food Lab
If you want to garnish with cranberries for a holiday meal, before you prepare and cook the squash, soak the cranberries: Bring 1 cup of water to a low boil (or use apple juice instead of water if you want to sweeten the cranberries). Add ¼ cup dried unsweetened cranberries. Bring back to a boil. Cover and turn off the heat. Leave cranberries to infuse and plump while you cook the squash. Drain and add to the squash just before serving.