Sunday, October 24, 2010

Butternut squash pizza

The temps are falling (ever so slightly), which to me means winter gourds!! Since picking up the first gourds last week, we've had butternut squash pasta and butternut squash risotto and the intriguing dish here, butternut squash pizza. In the week to come, leading to Halloween next Sunday, a young(ish) girl's thoughts turn to pumpkins - stay tuned!

I agree with Deb from Smitten Kitchen - this is not pizza. What is it? I don't know, gourd salad on flatbread? It's good, no matter how you label it. It was an interesting melding of tastes. We may want to try just following the recipe, rather than 'adapting' to fit what we have in our refrigerator, but I did really enjoy the flavors as they were.


Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Giada

Yield: 4 side dish servings
1# butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 portion pizza dough (see below for my go-to recipe)
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup arugula (or, in our case, spinach)
Squeeze of lemon juice

Toss the squash with the syrup, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the squash until tender and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Keep the temperature on the oven at 375 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough on a flour-dusted piece of parchment paper to a 13-inch diameter. Place the pizza and the parchment paper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the ricotta and the blue cheese on the pizza dough. Bake in the oven until golden and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Peel the skins off the squash. Top the cooked pizza with the cooked squash. Toss the arugula/spinach with the squeeze of lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, distribute over pizza. Slice and serve.

Pizza dough
also from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: One small, thin-crust pizza.

6 tablespoons warm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more water)
2 tablespoons white wine
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil + extra for coating bowl
1 1/2 cups flour
Flour for dusting counter

Whisk wine, water and yeast in a medium bowl until yeast has dissolved. Add honey, salt and olive oil and stir. Add flour and no matter how dry it looks, work it with a spoon and your fingers until it comes together as a dough. Add more water one tablespoon at a time if you need, but this is almost never necessary.

Sprinkle some flour on the counter and knead the dough for a minute or two.

Wash the bowl you made the dough in, dry it and coat the inside with olive oil. Put the dough in, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 1-2 hours, until it is doubled.

Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured counter and gently deflate the dough with the palm of your hands. Form it into a ball and let it rest on a floured spot with either plastic wrap over it (sprinkle the top of the dough with flour so it doesn’t stick) or an upended bowl. In 15 minutes, it is ready to roll out.

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