If I was stranded on a desert island and could only bring one food, it's pretty likely that I would choose pizza (or chocolate!). It's kind of cheating since what I love most about pizza is that there is so much variety. Anything that's left-over in the pantry or garden always seems to make for a delicious pizza topping and we do make a lot of pizza.
Now that spring is about to spring (hopefully) any day and we'll soon have fresh asparagus and peas to adorn our pizzas, I wanted to use up the last of our butternut squash and share this recipe which is one of our favorites. We get lots of winter squash from the farmer's market in the fall and it stores beautifully all winter as long as the skin doesn't have any blemishes.
Pizza dough is easy to find these days in the freezer section of the super market or even from your local pizza joint. Of course you can also make your own fairly quickly. I like to make the dough in advance and store it in the freezer. I usually thaw it in the refrigerator the day before and then let it rest on the counter for at least and hour before baking. My favorite dough recipe is this one from Mark Bittman. I also like to make them two at a time, it's just as easy as making one and leftovers should be mandatory!
Roasted Squash Pizza: makes two pies
- two balls of pizza dough, rested
- 1 med butternut squash
- 1 small onion
- 4 -8 cloves garlic
- 3/4 lb hard mozzarella
- 1c feta
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- *fresh herbs would be great! (I didn't have any on hand)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pull the dough and press out onto two oiled baking sheets forming a lip for the crust (I like to make it somewhat circular but square pizza also works). If the dough wants to spring back, let it rest twenty more minutes and it should become easier to work with.
Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork. Brush with olive oil and bake for ten minutes. Remove from oven, salt and pepper, and set aside.
Peel, remove seeds, and chop the butternut squash into 1/2 inch chunks. Toss with olive oil and the coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, toss and continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes until the squash is browned.
Slice the onion thinly and peel and halve the garlic. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 10 minutes until browned.
Grate the mozzarella and crumble the feta cheese.
Top the pizza dough with the mozzarella, squash, onions, garlic, and feta spreading evenly between the two pies.
Bake the pizzas, still at 425 degrees, for about 15 minutes or until browned and bubbling. Allow to cool before slicing into wedges.
We enjoyed ours with a spinach salad- the sun had set and the lighting was terrible so no pictures of the plates. I need to work on evening food shots, so tough!
And as always I was assisted in the kitchen by my helper, Little Smith. He's gotten quite comfortable helping himself to the drawers and cupboards. We keep anything dangerous locked but give him free reign of pots and pans and tupperware. It makes for quite an elaborate clean up.
It's such fun to have him in the kitchen though and he loves to check out all the action. He gobbled up his yummy pizza... loves that winter squash!