Saturday, December 28, 2013

Return of the Pizza: Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Leek, and Prosciutto

As dedicated cookers and consumers of all things delicious, we pride ourselves in our ongoing efforts to champion the most delectable of dishes. Yet it has come to our concerned attention that we have lapsed. Egregiously.

Mostly, we just like saying the word egregiously. With emphasis. Egregiously.

The lapse involved the following: For awhile, there was pizza. And then: there was not. Pizza, I mean. No pizza of any sort.

Egregious, right?

Let's get right on that.

1 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp stone-ground whole wheat bread flour
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp plus one pinch salt
2-3 pinches lemon zest (grated on a microplane, else very finely minced)
Coarsely-ground cornmeal
Olive oil for brushing

1 small clove garlic, chopped or pressed
1.5-2 oz grated Gruyère
2 oz grated Monterey jack cheese
1 small leek, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, sliced into half rings
2 oz prosciutto
1/2 cup (or more) diced roasted butternut squash*
4-5 leaves dino kale, stems removed and sliced crosswise into thin strips

Follow the instructions in this recipe to prepare the pizza dough (or use store-bought dough if you must, but making your own is easier than you think, way healthier, and deeply delectable).

Sauté the leek in a little olive oil over medium heat for about 7 minutes, turning the heat down slightly to prevent browning if needed.

When the dough is ready, preheat oven to 450°F. Brush the flour off your cutting board and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Take the dough out of the bowl and gently form a ball, then place on the cutting board and begin gently pressing and stretching it outward to form a flat pancake. You want to end up with a flat disc that's about 12" in diameter.

Lightly oil a pizza pan or baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Gently transfer the crust to the pan, then brush the upward side of the pizza dough with olive oil.

Rub the minced garlic into the top of the pizza, then sprinkle lightly and evenly with the grated cheeses (leave a thin ring around the outside without cheese). Spread the leeks evenly over the cheese, then layer the prosciutto, squash, and finally kale.

Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 12-16 minutes, until crust turns slightly golden around the edges.

Remove from the oven, slice, and serve immediately.

Makes 8 small but rich slices (enough for two, or as an appetizer for four). Pairs very well with a crisp salad and a glass of Seghesio 2012 Zinfandel (currently available at Costco).

*To roast the butternut squash, halve lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and slice into 1" half-circles. Brush with olive oil, arrange on a baking sheet, and roast at 425° until just tender, flipping the pieces after 20 minutes or so (wait until they brown on the bottom before flipping). Go ahead and roast the whole squash, peel and dice what you want for the pizza, and then use the leftovers later for this or this or this.


  1. Oh, this one sounds SO delicious - and healthy, too! Thank you, Alison.

  2. There are few better combinations besides squash, kale and caramelized onion. Your wheat crush looks so wholesome and full of "savour"!