Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Butternut Squash, Blue Cheese, & Ham Pizza

Pizza is a dinner food to me. Like, I don't ever think about eating pizza for lunch. It's something I want with a beer or a glass of wine (which doesn't necessarily preclude lunch) and my programs. 
The programs are kind of essential. Of course it's a brilliant away-game food. Pizza and football? So done. Of course, I probably couldn't get away with serving a harvest-y pizza with a side of sprouts as a game-watching dinner. It's more for when I'm either watching a game by myself or my lady shows (Scandal, Nashville, you know the drill). 

I like to make pizza as uncomplicated as possible. HAH. Just kidding. Here we've got cubed butternut squash, pizza dough from Publix (that's the uncomplicated part), fresh mozzarella, jamon iberico (y'know, ham), cubed bleu cheese, and sage.

You can use prosciutto or another thinly sliced ham, but I had this Iberian ham on me. Y'know, as one does.

My blue cheese was the opposite of crumbly. I mean, when's the last time I was able to cube blue cheese? It melted nicely though. The most important part is that you like it!

You also need an underripe butternut squash. Just kidding. Try to get a ripe one. Cube it, toss it with olive oil, and roast in the oven just to get nice and soft.

DSC_1236_edited-1 I couldn't decide if I wanted red sauce or just olive oil, so I did both! I like to tear the mozzarella into pieces and artfully arrange them across the dough.

DSC_1240_edited-1 Toss on the par-cooked squash and blue cheese for more flavor layers.

DSC_1245_edited-1 Bake until it's mostly cooked. I love the way the squash gets brown around the edges and supersoft. 

DSC_1251_edited-1 Full shot man. Add the sage and ham and bake until it's fully cooked. 

DSC_1256_edited-1 It's a doggone playground of sweet butternut squash, salty ham, herby sage (because sage is in herb of course), and gooey cheese. It's a winner. It's pizza, man. 

Butternut Squash, Blue Cheese, & Ham Pizza (makes 1 pizza, serves 3+)

(You can adjust these measurements to your liking - less blue cheese, more squash, etc)
1 1/2 - 2 c cubed butternut squash
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt & pepper to taste
1 (8 oz) ball of pizza dough
4 oz fresh mozzarella
1 c (ish) cubed blue cheese
2 oz thinly sliced ham, torn
2 sage leaves, thinly sliced
Red sauce (optional)
  • Preheat the oven to 425º. Spread the squash on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast 10-15 minutes or until the squash have softened up but aren't brown. Remove and turn the oven up to 500º.
  • Spread your dough on a sheet pan to your desired thickness and size. If using the red sauce, spread on the dough. Otherwise, drizzle with more olive oil. 
  • Tear the mozzarella pieces and spread across the pizza. Add the blue cheese and bake 25-30 minutes or until almost completely done. The cheese should be melty and the crust should be lightly browned. 
  • Sprinkle the ham and sage over the pizza and bake an addition 5 minutes to crisp up the ham and brown the crust. Season with flaky salt and pepper to taste.

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