This recipe kind of came to be out of spite. I originally intended to offer up a seasonal and sweet little pumpkin doughnut recipe with cranberry filling and fun-shine happy fall times. I was trying way too hard. To say that it didn’t work out as I imagined would be an understatement. Like the hugest understatement. Next course of action: I went out and bought myself a proper doughnut and ate it only slightly begrudgingly. I was feeling more like myself, things were good. Then I thought about making an off-the-cuff kind of pizza, abandoning any idea of making doughnuts altogether. Whoa, all of a sudden I was feeling a lot better.
I’m not sure you could even technically call this a pizza. I used roasted butternut squash and garlic mash as the “sauce” and this genius recipe as inspiration for the dough that doesn’t even require rising time. It takes literally 10 minutes to make. Then I grilled the whole thing and essentially put a lemony and fresh salad on top. Maybe you could call it a grilled flatbread with very balanced stuff on it? I like to get technical, but I’m still inclined to call this pizza. It’s such a feel-good word.
I put some basil and swiss chard pesto into the mix too. I love squash and traditional pesto together so I thought it would be even better here. I never make pesto from a recipe really, just kind of throw some toasted nuts/seeds in the food processor with the leaves of my choosing, olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper and blitz it around and scrape down the sides until it seems like the right texture and it tastes good. It’s a total intuition thing and it always works out just right. Wait that’s like, 98 percent of cooking right?
grilled butternut squash pizza with lemony radicchio slaw
dough recipe adapted from The Faux Martha
notes: You could use arugula, endive or whatever greens you like in place of the radicchio. If you don’t have a barbecue, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and put everything on the pizza except the radicchio mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes. Also, advice on grilling pizza: have absolutely everything at the ready when you’re making it. Time is of the essence!
1 small butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 sprigs sage (optional)
salt and pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pesto (there will be some leftover!):
3/4-1 cup basil and swiss chard leaves (or all basil, all chard etc)
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup warm water (not too hot!)
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 3/4 cup white spelt flour
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 head radicchio, outer leaves removed, cored and sliced
4 sprigs flat leaf parsley, leaves finely sliced
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tbsp oil of your choosing
1 shallot, peeled, halved and finely sliced
small handful of pine nuts, toasted
Roast the squash: preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Season and place the squash halves face down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. In the little cavity where the seeds were, sneak the garlic cloves underneath. If using the sage, place the whole sprig under the flesh of the squash (see picture above). Roast until very tender, about 35-40 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, scrape out flesh into a bowl. Squeeze garlic cloves out of their peels into the bowl as well. Add oil, salt, pepper and a splash of water. Stir and mash with a spatula until smooth. Set aside.
Make the pesto: place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until everything is broken up a bit. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula. Put the processor on high until a paste starts to form. Scrape down the sides again. Let it rip one more time until it’s super smooth. Season to taste. Scrape into a bowl and put a dab of oil on top to prevent discolouration. Set aside.
Make the dough: pour the water into a large bowl. Add the yeast, agave and oil. Whisk to combine. Let the yeast proof for about five minutes or until you see bubbles forming on the surface. Add the flours and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until combine. Knead with your hands until you have a smooth lump of dough.
Make the slaw: combine all of the ingredients radicchio, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper as close to serving time as possible. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Make the pizza!: Get your barbecue going to a medium-medium high flame. Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness on a floured cutting board, pizza peel or anything flat that you can bring out to the barbecue. Brush one side with oil completely. Either flip or gently guide the oiled side onto the grates (you can oil the grates as an extra non-stick insurance policy). Brush the top, now-exposed side of the dough with oil and put the lid down. Wait about 3-5 minutes.
The dough should be browning and getting grill marks on one side and bubbling through on the surface. Flip it over. Spread the butternut squash and garlic mixture evenly onto the browned side of crust. Dollop the pesto on top and sprinkle the shallots on. Put the lid down and wait another 5-6 minutes before removing the pizza.
Place pizza on serving plate/large cutting board and top with the radicchio slaw. Sprinkle with pine nuts, cut into slices and serve.