Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pesto Pizza with Butternut Squash

I think it would be good if time just stood still for a little while. There's always too much to do and not enough time to do it in. After throwing my daughter's 2nd birthday party last weekend, it took my house days to recover from all the mess I made in the kitchen. I'm not even fully recovered yet. I came down with a nasty cough because I was doing too much and not sleeping enough and my body is just worn out. So, time can just stand still while I crawl into bed and recover.

Needless to say, meals have been pretty simple around here for the past few days; leftovers, soup, peanut butter sandwiches....

However, I did buy some fresh basil last week in anticipation of making this pizza and it was calling my name last night. This pizza totally hit the spot. I love basil to begin with but anything with pesto, sign me up! The combination of flavors here is perfect. Who would have thought butternut squash would work well on pizza but it really does. This recipe calls for Gouda cheese, which I happened to have some leftover from a previous meal, but you could substitute another soft mild cheese such as mozzarella or provolone. If you can't find fresh basil to make a pesto, you can use store bought.



Pesto Pizza with Butternut Squash
1 recipe Perfect Pizza Crust
6 (1/4-inch-thick) slices peeled butternut squash or pumpkin (about 1/2 pound)
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. olive oil
Cooking spray
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Fontina or Gouda cheese
1 (14.5-ounce) can finely chopped tomatoes, drained (or 2 medium fresh tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup basil pesto (recipe to follow)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese

Make the pizza dough and set it aside to let it rise. While it is rising, place the squash on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sugar and toss to coat. Cook on 400 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Roll out pizza dough on pizza pan or stone and sprinkle cheese over it, leaving a 1/2-inch border; top with squash mixture, tomatoes, and oregano. Drop pesto by level teaspoons onto mixture; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 425° for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Basil Pesto (Joy of Cooking)
2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts (walnuts work too)
2 medium cloves garlic,
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup olive oil

Process first 4 ingredients in a blender to a rough paste. With the machine running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube. Add a little more oil if sauce seems too dry (it should be a thick paste). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate up to a week or store in the freezer.


SOURCE:Adapted from Cooking Light on myrecipes.com

Linked to...
Recipe Swap Thursday @ Prairie Story
This Week's Cravings @ Mom's Crazy Cooking
Seasonal Sundays @ Real Sustenance

11 comments:

  1. Butternut squash on pizza? Pesto on pizza? I have to admit that the only kinds of pizzas I've ever had are the ones with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and your standard toppings. You've inspired me to try something new! Hope your cough goes away.

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  2. Oh, I'll take pesto on anything! I love it. If you're in to trying new things on pizza, check out my bbq chicken bacon pizza with caramelized onions, it's a real treat.

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  3. This looks so delicious. I made a pizza with roasted butternut squash on top last winter and it is one of my favorite things in the world. The pesto would really put it over the top!

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  4. I love pesto on my pizza. And with homemade dough, it would be that much better. Yum!

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  5. I am way to lazy to make pesto for as often as we use it--with tomato allergies, that what we use for pizza & pasta most of the time. We really like Costco's Kirkland Signature pesto. It is in the refrigerator section & tastes way better than anything we've found on the shelves. Michelle you are my cooking hero, you are just SO awesome.

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  6. Thanks Ked, you're sweet. I don't mind making my own pesto because I can make a whole bunch at a time and it will last quite a while both in the fridge and freezer. Also, I like to know exactly what goes in to what I make and know that it's fresh, so I try to do things from scratch as much as possible.

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  7. Thanks for linking up! This Week's Craving!

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  8. This sounds really good. So you just dice the squash up really small? Thanks!

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  9. Debbie, it's not really a dice, but a very thin slice. If you were to dice the squash you may need to cook it a little first before you put it on the pizza so that it will be completly cooked when the pizza is done.

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  10. Holy WOW! What a great idea. Squash is my favorite. In the fall especially when butternut squash starts showing up at the grocery store I go a little bonkers,, and buy it in excess!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe at this weeks Seasonal SUnday! :) Hope to see more of your recipes in the future!! xo, Brittany

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  11. What a combination! I wouldn't have thought it would sound good, but after seeing your pizza it looks amazing! Bright colors and tasty too!

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