There are so many reasons to love fall…picking crisp apples directly from the trees, admiring the beauty and vibrancy of the leaves changing color, and breaking out warm sweaters are just a few. And with temperatures outside being cold enough to make you want to bake again, there’s also getting creative in the kitchen with just-harvested squashes.
This fall squash pizza recipe is the perfect way to do just that. Made with butternut or acorn squash, caramelized onions, prosciutto, arugula and a delectable fig balsamic glaze, it’s truly a best-of fall treat. I recommend enjoying a slice or two in moderation with a green salad, veggies or butternut squash soup.
If you aren’t up for making a specialty dough from scratch, you can use pre-made pizza dough, though I always recommend homemade if you have the time and inclination.
Fall Squash Pizza – Step-by-Step Quick List:
- Make the squash pizza dough
- Make the fig balsamic reduction
- Roast the squash
- Caramelize the onions
- Assemble the squash pizza and bake it
- Top the baked squash pizza with arugula and drizzle it with fig balsamic glaze
To Make the Squash Pizza Dough
Makes enough for 2 pizzas – you can refrigerate or freeze one for another day.
- 3.5 -4 cups organic bread flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
- 2 teaspoons Savory Salt Blend
- 1.5 cups of water (around 110 degrees – you want it warm, if it’s too hot it’ll kill the yeast)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil – to add more savory flavor (and perhaps create your own signature dough), substitute Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a crushed flavored olive oil like Garlic Olive Oil or Rosemary Olive Oil. For a spicy twist, try Jalapeño Garlic Olive Oil
- Olive oil for greasing the bowl
- 1/4 cup organic corn meal
- If desired, add in additional herbs to dough for enhanced flavors (garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme)
Using a stand mixer, combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl. As the mixer runs, add the water and 2 tablespoons of your olive oil of choice, and beat the mixture until it forms a ball of dough. Gradually add additional flour if the dough is sticky, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. Conversely, if your dough is too dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and set it in a warm area for about one hour. Allow it to double in size. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into two equal pieces, then cover the pieces with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough pieces rest about 10 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough to desired thickness and size.
Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet, then place the dough onto it and pre-cook for about five minutes. This is done to get a crispy, evenly cooked dough. Check it halfway though; if you see any bubbles, perforate them to prevent uneven rising.
To Make the Fig Balsamic Glaze
- 1 cup Fig Balsamic Vinegar (or use Organic Balsamic Vinegar for more piquant, less sweet balsamic glaze)
Place fig balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the balsamic vinegar reduces to about 1/4 cup and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Note that it will continue to thicken as it cools) Cool completely, then use as desired.
Store any excess in fridge; use within 45 days.
Finally, to make Squash Pizza…
- 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash, pumpkin or acorn squash
- Savory Salt Blend and Pepper Juniper Blend, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to your taste)
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp fig balsamic (or organic balsamic) vinegar
- 1 to 2 cups of sliced fresh mozzerella or shredded whole milk mozzarella (preferably organic)
- 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (optional)
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn or cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 tbsp reduced Fig Balsamic Vinegar
- Optional 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 425° F. You’ll want to bake the squash pizza in the top 1/3 of the oven.
First, roast the squash:
On a baking sheet, toss together your choice of cubed squash with olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper blends, and (if using) cayenne pepper and sage. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the squash is just tender and remove from oven. Increase the heat to 500° F.
While the squash is roasting, caramelize the onions:
In a large skillet, slowly cook the onions with a few grinds of Salt Blend in 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat, turning them over and over. If and when they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add about 1 Tbsp of fig balsamic vinegar to deglaze them. Cook until they are softened and golden brown. Remove from the heat. Add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes to season.
Assemble the squash pizza:
Drizzle the dough lightly with olive oil. Top with the caramelized onions, add the sliced or shredded mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese (if using), then the optional sliced prosciutto or crumbled bacon. Arrange the squash on top.
Slide into the preheated 500° F oven and bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pizza and bake another 3-5 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted. Top the pizza with additional crushed red pepper flakes, arugula and drizzle reduced Fig Balsamic Vinegar over the top.
Love fall/winter squashes?
Get more recipes to enjoy:
- Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
- Greek Spaghetti Squash Boats
- Roasted Rosemary Acorn Squash
- 3 Pumpkin Soup Recipes
- Balsamic Roasted Pumpkin
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Top Squash and sage photo credit: © Diana Taliun @123rf.com