When it gets around to this time of year, I’m always so happy to see the end of January. It’s not that I dislike winter. In fact, I tend to annoy most of the people around here with my enthusiasm for it. I don’t like treacherous driving, but now that we live out in what could be called the country, the snowy white is just beautiful.
That being said, despite the fact that January has the same number of days as months such as March, May and July it often feels like it will never end. So I’m glad to see February come with Valentine’s Day quickly followed by Easter, springtime 10Ks, gardens and the farmer’s market.
However, with another month of full-on winter ahead, at least in this part of the US, I’m not ready to give up warm, comfort foods. I still have some winter squash around and a few weeks ago I was thumbing through my RR magazine. Yes, although people find her annoying I owe much of what I’ve learned about cooking to watching endless hours of 30 Minute Meals back in the day.
When I saw her Butternut Squash Pizza, it inspired to me to create something similar myself. My ingredients are little less exotic as I only had a few things on hand, but it turned out pretty tasty, nonetheless.
I roasted a whole head of garlic until soft and creamy, and then spread it on the pizza crust. It was a bit of work, but I also peeled the squash and diced it before roasting it until just barely tender. Plan ahead with this one because it will take you a little while to get your roasting done.
I will say that while I loved this pizza, my husband thought it was just okay. This was mainly because it is so sweet. However, I found that sprinkling on a little crushed red pepper just before serving really balanced the flavors.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Garlic Pizza
Adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray’s Butternut Squash-and-Red Onion Pizza
1 large (14 inch) pizza dough (I make the Spelt Crust from Off Her Cork)
1 head of garlic
1 small acorn squash, peeled and flesh cubed
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
Crushed red pepper (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Carefully cut off the top 3rd of the head of garlic so that the cloves are exposed. Place in the center of a square sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap loosely. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender. Set aside.
Spread the cubed squash in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast 15 to 20 minutes, just until tender. Meanwhile, drizzle a skillet with olive oil, add the onions and cook over medium-high heat. Cover and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onions are slightly browned and soft.
Squeeze the garlic flesh into a small bowl and stir to mash any clumps. Spread evenly over the pizza crust. Top with the squash and caramelized onions. Cover evenly with the cheeses. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust is slightly browned. Garnish with crushed red pepper, if desired.