Wednesday, December 2, 2009

letting squash back in my heart (butternut squash pizza)

A single lonely butternut squash had been sitting on the kitchen counter staring forlornly at me for weeks. I just couldn't bring myself to do anything with it after my mysterious, seemingly squash related, illness a little while back.

I'm still relating the horrid details of that experience to friends, family members and acquaintances...for which I am sure they are all hugely grateful.

Really, what is the point of suffering if you can't sharing with the ones you love...and the ones you like...and even the ones you barely know?

A couple of nights ago I just couldn't take the squash staring pitifully at me every time I walked through the kitchen anymore. I knew it was unfair to put my own fears on this poor, innocent vegetable so I peeled and chopped it up. I tossed it with some olive oil, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne and s&p and roasted it up.

Then I added it to some mixed greens, toasted walnuts and blackberries to make a nice little salad for my supper.

There was still quite a bit of squash left over though. was a big squash. I had big plans for it before the violent attack on my gastrointestinal system.

Yesterday I went back and forth considering a pasta filling or possibly a gnocchi when inspiration struck and I decided to throw together a squash pizza.

It was a super easy supper to throw together, especially if you make things easy on yourself (which I never do) and buy your pizza dough.

Personally, I enjoy making life more difficult, so I made my own.

Pizza Dough
1 pkg yeast
500 grams bread flour
280 ml water
1 oz. olive oil
10 grams raw sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water (as per directions)
Mix together flour, water, olive oil, sugar and salt
Then add activated yeast
Knead dough until it reaches a smooth elastic texture and does not stick to your hands or the board (about 5 to 10 minutes)
Place dough in well oiled bowl (large enough for dough to double in size)
Cover bowl with plastic and put in warm place for 3 hours to rise
After 3 hours punch dough down and separate into 2 (for large pizzas) or 4 (for personal sized) equal balls.
Cover the dough balls with a sprinkling of flour, cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size again (about 1 hour)
After 1 hour work each ball of dough out into pizza shape (take your time with the dough, don't rush it or you'll rip the dough)

Now for my butternut squash pizza.

I basically raided my cupboards and fridge and this is what I came up with. The flavour combination was really great though, each bite had a great balance and even SeaBass had only good things to say (that's pretty much as close to enthusiasm as I get from him....not that I'm bitter.)

Butternut Squash Pizza
1 pkg. fresh mozzarella
mixed greens (I stuck mostly with arugula and baby spinach for the bite and balance they added)
1 small onion (sliced and carmelized)
roasted butternut squash (diced in bite sized pieces)
toasted pine nuts
bacon (diced to bite sized pieces)
* balsamic reduction (recipe at end of post)
manchego cheese (grated and sprinkled on top) (parmesan or any other nutty, salty cheese would work)

Preheat oven to highest internal temp
Carmelize onion and fry bacon while you roll out pizza dough
Break up mozzarella and distribute over rolled out pizza dough
Add onion and chopped bacon
Add bite sized pieces of squash
Add mixed greens
Add pine nuts
* Drizzle balsamic reduction over everything
Sprinkle on manchego (or alternative cheese)

Pop pizzas in oven (my oven goes to 550 degrees and pizzas take about 5 minutes to cook to my liking.)

* Balsamic Reduction
There's no actual recipe. I just boiled down a little balsamic vinegar (much to the chagrin of my father who looked like he was going to puke when he smelled it!) It happens very quickly (within a couple of minutes) so just keep an eye on the pot and reduce the vinegar until you get a consistency you like.

Butternut Squash Pizza on Foodista


Sook said...

Mmmmm I want a bite of that! Looks wonderful!

Heiko said...

...and? and? How's the tummy is what I want to know. Or did you just poison your family with it this time?

Lo said...

LOVE pizza, and squash pizza is even better. Yours is gorgeous.

So, I take it you fared better with this squash??

Jenn said...

i am pleased to announce that squash and i have returned to our previous status as close friends. i once again enjoy feelings of warmth and yumminess towards them.

Anonymous said...

What a grear idea! I have never thought of adding squash to a pizza and it does look delicious! thanks or this inspiraion1

kirsten said...

Yum..I would never of thought to put squash on a pizza, what a great idea.

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