Sunday, April 25, 2010

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza

It only makes sense that you'd like to make a few different pizzas when you make four pizzas worth of dough. So, as I tested the frozen and refrigerated dough to see how it fared (see original pizza dough post for results) I also tried a new topping combinations. This recipe is best suite for the fall in winter months since it features butternut squash and, when seared, it makes a great pizza topping that will liven your spirit during the winter months. If you cannot find a small enough butternut squash don't worry, simply sear it all and use the rest in future dishes or eat it as a snack with a bit of left over goat cheese like I did.

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza

1 small butternut squash- peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
4-6 tablespoons of goat cheese (a small package will be more than sufficient)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 cup (or less) of your favorite basic marinara or tomato sauce
1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
1-2 teaspoons of fresh herbs, finely minced (I used rosemary and lemon thyme)
1 teaspoon lemon zest

-Prepare pizza dough.
-Set oven to 480° F. 
-While the dough is resting, heat olive oil or butter over medium-high to hight heat in a medium skillet. When the oil is hot (smells nutty but not smokey) add the squash and toss it briefly to coat with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and let the squash brown, only tossing occasionally to encourage browning on all sides. When the squash is fork tender, about 5-10 minutes, take the pan off the heat and add the brown sugar. Toss to incorporate using the residual heat and set aside.
-Top the pizza round with the tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, squash, and small dollops of goat cheese.
-Bake the pizza for 8-12 minutes until the crust is crisp, golden brown, and puffy.
-Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Top the pizza with your choice of fresh herbs, and lemon zest. Slice and serve.

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