Butternut Squash Pizza

Butternut Squash Pizza 1

Oh hey, Autumn.

This is my favorite time of the year in Seattle. Summer is great and all – with the sun and the beach and the barbecuing – but there is truly nothing that beats a crisp fall day. There is a bite in the air, golden leaves line the sidewalks, and cozying up with a book and a fresh cup of coffee is the perfect Sunday morning activity.

Of course there’s all the wonderful winter beers, but that’s a whole other story.

Nothing could be more seasonal than this Butternut Squash Pizza. The nuttiness of the parmesan and pistachio meets the sweetness of the squash and caramelized onions to form a soul-warming union of comforting flavors. Those lovely notes are reinforced with mellow mozzarella and earthy sage to boot. On top of it all, this dish just looks autumnal with its orange and green colors and sinister caramelized onion curls.

Serve this up next to a fresh-cut jack-o’-lantern after a day of traipsing around a corn field and you will be the epitome of Fall – not to mention the envy of all your friends.

Butternut Squash Pizza (Serves 2-3)

Dough Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 dry yeast packet
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 white onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup sage, finely chopped

Butternut Squash Pizza Prep

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast and mix until evenly distributed. Slowly add the water and oil while mixing with a fork. Knead the dough until it becomes a smooth, firm ball, adding additional flour or water if it’s too sticky or dry.
  2. Pour a little extra olive oil over the dough and gently coat the surface. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Heat a skillet to high heat and let it get screaming hot (this may be a good time to turn on your oven fan). Add the onions and stirred constantly for 1 minute to avoid burning them. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover, stirring every five minutes or so, for 30 to 40 minutes. The onions should be soft, browned and mildly sweet when done.
  4. While the dough is rising and your onions are caramelizing, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the skin off the butternut squash and, using a sharp knife, cut 10 to 12 thin slices and layer them in a casserole dish. Pour enough stock over the squash to completely submerge it and place the dish in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the squash losses most, but not all, of its firmness. Remove the squash from the cooking liquid and set aside.
  5. Combine the pistachios, olive oil, parmesan and lemon juice in a good processor and puree until smooth. The sauce should be just slightly thicker than pizza sauce. If it’s too thick, add additional olive oil until you get the right consistency.
  6. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet lightly with olive oil and roll or spread the pizza dough out onto it. Brush a generous layer of the pistachio sauce out onto the dough and top with the mozzarella, parmesan, butternut squash and caramelized onions.
  7. Put the pizza in the oven and cook for 14-16 minutes, until the cheese is completely melted and the crust is golden brown on the outer edges. Remove the pizza from the oven and top it with the chopped sage. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Butternut Squash Pizza Close-up

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