I haven’t brought myself to eat the last half of my sugarbaby watermelon in the frige. Every bite is so sweet and full of summertime goodness. Author Barbra Kingsolver refers to the watermelon in her book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle as the caboose of summer produce. That it is…a reminder that summer is winding down, and fall is falling upon us. It’s so hard to say goodbye to tomatoes, peaches, watermelons and other summertime memories. These are foods that are innocently deliciously eaten on their own and don’t require any alterations. Fall, you too, are special though. You bring us a variety of squashes, apples, and football. After a summer of baseball, I can’t wait to plop down and watch my Tennessee Vols do their best against obnoxious teams like the Florida Gators. I can’t think of a better way to welcome both the fall and football season with a festive fall pizza recipe. Typically, I am a cook who needs a recipe to guide my way. However, last Monday, my creative juices were flowing, and with the help of some random ingredients in my kitchen, I came up with this idea. Ingredients: 1 butternut squash 1/4 cup of vegetable broth 3 cloves of garlic, chopped (or more if you like) 1 onion (red or yellow) 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 1 cup shredded mozzarella or 3-4 oz fresh mozzarella 1/4-1/2 cup freshly torn sage 1/4 cup prosciutto or torn cooked bacon 1 whole wheat pizza crust (I chose Trader Joe’s ready to bake whole wheat dough) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Slice butternut squash in 1/2. Scrape out seeds. Oil the flesh of squash with olive oil. Place squash flesh side down on grill. Grill butternut squash on medium to high heat (takes ~45 minutes) turn 2-3 times ( you can bake it as well)
3. While squash is grilling, thinly slice onion, and sauté in pan until it caramelizes, add pumpkin seeds at end, and sauté for 3-4 more minutes. Remove onions and seeds from sauté pan once finished. Put aside. 4. After squash has finished, let it cool or you will burn your little hands. Once cooled, take a spoon and scoop out the flesh into your sauté pan, add chopped garlic, and sauté. Add 1/4 vegetable broth to slightly thin. As squash cooks, take a potato masher and mash the squash to a smoother consistency. This process should take 5 or so minutes. 5. Roll out dough into the size of your desired pizza crust, I believe mine was ~14″ Spread butternut squash mixture evenly over the dough, leaving 1/2 an inch for the crust. Add onions with pumpkin seeds, bacon, sage, and cheese. 6. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending upon how thick your crust was. There you have it! What a wonderful way to welcome in fall with a slice of a festive fall pizza. Can’t wait to take a bite of it as I watch my Vols take a bite out of the Gators this weekend.