Sometimes I avoid butternut squash, and it has nothing to do with how it tastes. This thick-skinned veggie is such a pain to prep and cut. I don’t have the time or patience to tackle it with a peeler, so I take my knife to it, slicing off the skin plus some of the flesh—whoops! I wanted to make a fall pizza, so I accepted the knife skills challenge for this roasted butternut squash pizza. Full disclosure, I thought about using sweet potatoes instead since they’re easier to peel and cube.
I started with my usual dough recipe, but I swapped out half the bread flour with whole wheat flour, so the crust was chewier and a bit more hearty. While the dough rose, I roasted the squash. Once I rolled out the crust, I gave it a 5-minute head start in the oven before slathering on parsley walnut pesto and sprinkling on a shredded Italian cheese mix. I topped the baked crust with squash, arugula, shaved Parmesan and minced chives.
Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza
Makes 1-12-inch pizza
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil plus more for bowl
3/4 cup bread flour plus more for work surface
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
Cornmeal for pizza stone
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup parsley walnut pesto
1/3 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1 handful baby arugula
1 tablespoon minced chives
In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse both the flours and salt. Add the yeast mixture and process until a ball of dough forms. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with a pizza stone inside the oven.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 12-inch diameter circle. Sprinkle the preheated pizza stone with cornmeal and place the dough on it. Bake the crust for 5 minutes before spreading on the pesto, leaving a 1-inch border, followed by the cheese. Continue baking for 5-7 minutes until the crust is golden brown and cooked through and the cheese has melted.
Scatter the squash and arugula over the pizza. Top with Parmesan and chives before serving.