Roasted Butternut Squash & Pesto Pizza

November 2nd, 2014 11:54 am by Kelly Garbato

2014-10-19 - Butternut Squash & Pesto Pizza - 0001 [flickr]

C’mon, admit it: you KNEW this was coming. Every time I find myself with an abundance of produce, I invariably figure out a way to put it on a pizza (P.I.Z.Z.A.).

Before trying my hand at a butternut squash pizza, I did a little googling to see what others have done; this is kind of a mashup of some of the ideas I found. The roasted squash was heavily influenced by the Fall Harvest Butternut Squash with Almond-Pecan Parmesan from The Oh She Glows Cookbook – and the Farfalle with Zucchini, Mint, and Almonds from Vegan Italiano provided the inspiration for the pesto recipe, which is much more moist than usual. The liquidy pesto is insurance against the oven, which always dries my pesto pizzas out more than a little bit.

The result is hella tasty, and definitely one of my best uses of butternut squash to date.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash & Pesto Pizza

2014-10-19 - Butternut Squash & Pesto Pizza - 0008 [flickr]

Ingredients

…for the roasted butternut squash

1 medium-to-large butternut squash (about 4 cups worth), peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

…for the parmesan

1/4 cup roasted almonds
1/4 cup roasted pecans
1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt

…for the pesto

2 cups zucchini, diced into 1″ cubes
3/4 cup dried basil
1/4 cup frozen spinach, thawed
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
a dash of black pepper

…for a Fluffy White Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

…miscellaneous

Mozzarella Daiya cheese
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan

Directions

1. Begin by roasted the butternut squash. In a 9″x12″ glass baking pan, combine the squash, olive oil, garlic, and salt; mix well. Bake uncovered at 425F for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout. Take care not to overcook, as the squash will be baked a second time on top of the pizza. You want to be able to pierce the squash with a fork – but you don’t want it to get soft and mushy. When done, set aside to cool.

(This can be done up to a day or two in advance; just store the squash in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.)

2. Next, make the parmesan: combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended. A few large chunks of nuts are okay – they give the dish a little extra crunch! When done, transfer to an airtight container and set aside.

(Again, you can prepare the parm in advance; it keeps just fine at room temp.)

3. To make the pesto, bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add the zucchini and cook until tender – about 15 to 20 minutes. When done, drain and allow to cool. Transfer the zucchini to a food process and pulse until smooth-ish (a few lumps are okay). Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to pulse until blended, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside.

(This can be done up to a day or two in advance; just store the squash in an airtight container in the fridge until needed. Be sure to let the pesto come back to room temp prior to use.)

4. Several hours prior to making the pizza, prepare the dough. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, and water; mix until completely blended. Add the salt and olive oil and mix well. Add the flour in stages (about 1/2 cup at a time) and mix until the flour forms into dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough by hand and shape into a ball. Cover loosely with a towel and leave the dough to rise, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

5. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

6. To assemble the pizza, start by spreading a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.

7. Next, add your toppings. Start with a generous serving of the pesto, spreading it evenly over the pizza dough. (Pro tip: you may end up with a little extra. This tastes ace on a single-serving size bowl of pasta!)

Then comes a sprinkling of parmesan – anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup, depending on how much crunch you want. (Go easy, though; you can always add a little more just before serving the pizza!)

Follow with the Daiya cheese (as much or as little as you want) and then the butternut squash. Again, you may end up with a little extra squash. These can be saved and enjoyed as a side, with pasta, or in a tofu scramble.

8. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas. Eat up – the butternut squash and pesto totally makes this a healthy meal….right?

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One Response to “Roasted Butternut Squash & Pesto Pizza”

  1. Turkish Zucchini Pancakes (with leftover White Bean Farro Soup!) » vegan daemon Says:

    […] with the pesto for Sunday’s Butternut Squash Pizza, these Turkish Zucchini Pancakes from Vegan Eats World feature the very last of this season’s […]

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