Friday, January 27, 2012
KALE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH PIZZA
Butternut squash and kale are like the peanut butter and jelly of the winter-vegetable world; the sweetness of the squash complements the bitterness of the kale so perfectly that as soon as I see one in a recipe, I always look for the other. Plus their colors look great together! So I’m a bit surprised that it took me so long to put them both on a pizza. I have kale pizzas and I have squash pizzas, but never have the twain met until now. Apparently I’d been secretly craving it, though, because I realized that I’d bookmarked two nearly identical pizza recipes—one with sweet potatoes and the other with squash—in the span of a couple of weeks. A hasn’t been wild about the sweet potato pizzas I’ve made in the past, so this squash version from The Way the Cookie Crumbles won out.
There’s nothing too surprising here—the squash is roasted with red onions, a nice touch, while the kale gets sautéed with garlic, also nice, and then they both get cozy together under a blanket of cheese. The only change I made was, upon stumbling on an orphaned cheese remnant in the fridge and remembering how well a sharper cheese worked on my last squash pizza—to swap in Gruyere for half of the mozzarella. It definitely made a good pizza even better, so I’m memorializing it in my adaptation of the recipe below.
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of trying new pizza-topping combinations. I’m making up for 20 years of being strictly a plain cheese pizza eater.
1 pound pizza dough
1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-sized cubes (you could also use another kind of similarly textured winter squash, like acorn or delicata)
2 small red onions, cut into wedges
1 medium bunch kale, cut in thin ribbons
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Asiago cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Transfer the squash and onions to a large baking sheet; season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and coat with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake, stirring once halfway through, until softened and browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining ½ tablespoon oil with the garlic in a large skillet. Add the kale and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Roll out the dough and place it on a baking sheet coated with cornmeal or olive oil.
5. Top the dough with the roasted vegetables, kale, and cheese. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the crust is browned around the edges.
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: Good.