Squash abounds this time of year. The produce section has piles of them, and you see recipes for baked squash, creamed squash, even for squash pies. My inspiration for this salad was to do something new with squash — to create something crisp and refreshing. With very few ingredients, this salad has powerful flavor. You’ll love how the distinct flavor of fennel mingles with fresh pesto.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Run water over the insides of the squash. Microwave each half, separately, for 5 minutes. Use an dishtowel to remove from microwave — it will be HOT! Set aside and allow to cool, then place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, pine nuts, and garlic. Combine while you drizzle in the olive oil. Add the lemon juice and a dash of salt. Once a paste forms, remove from food processor.
Scoop the cooled spaghetti squash from its skin, and place into a large bowl. Use a knife to cut up the large bunches of squash. Thinly slice the fennel bulb into 1 inch segments and add to the bowl. Mix in the pesto until everything is well coated.
Cut larger cherry tomatoes in half, and leave smaller ones intact. Add all the tomatoes to the bowl and mix well. Taste the salad, and use another dash of salt if needed.