Monday, December 20, 2010

butternut squash and taleggio pizza

While throwing miscellaneous articles of clothing and magazines into my weekender this past Friday, I glanced at my camera and made the conscious decision that I would not be needing it. I had no plans for cooking anything and this weather is far from picturesque. Nope, I wouldn't come across anything photo-worthy while I was in Connecticut for the weekend (hence the photo fail above courtesy of my Macbook "camera").

Then inspiration struck early on Saturday morning via Twitter when someone wanted a suggestion for something new to do with winter squash. Given my vast and equally diverse wealth of knowledge on all things epicurean, I immediately knew what to recommend.

Turn it into a pizza topping, of course.

I mean, if nothing else, I make myself laugh. Out loud. Often. Because, you see, I am hilarious. And not the least bit modest about it.

Every time I suggest making pizza, I laugh (a maniacal little snicker). I laugh because I'm fairly confident a lot of you are thinking I'm a one-trick pony. All I make are pizzas. But that's just fine with me. Because until you've had a taste of this pony's well rehearsed trick (I'm sorry for how that comes out), all the eye-rolling and pigeon-holing will come to an end. And I'll be laughing all the way to the...

Well, see, now there's nothing funny about the fact that I can't finish that sentence.

Butternut Squash and Taleggio Pizza

1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. maple syrup
4-5 cloves of garlic, whole and not peeled
1-2 tsp. fresh sage, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 shallots, thinly sliced
fresh pizza dough

Preheat the oven to 400F. On a baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with the garlic cloves, sage, olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes and allow to cool.

While the butternut squash cools, raise the oven temperature to 450F (make sure pizza stone is in oven). Stretch out the pizza dough to desired thinness. Brush the dough with a little garlic oil and then top with a scattering of the butternut squash followed by a sprinkling of shallots. Bake the pizza on a pizza stone for about 10 minutes (the crust should be just starting to brown). Top with evenly distributed pieces of taleggio and allow to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese has completely melted and the crust is nicely browned and cooked through.

To serve, top the pizza with some lightly dressed baby arugula. Devour.

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