Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dim Sum Sunday - Pumpkins/Squash

So many choices of squash and pumpkins to choose from. Don't mind the funky gourds, I decided to use that lovely acorn squash along with a butternut squash to try a recipe I hadn't made before. I turned to one of my favorites when it comes to simple fresh cooking.
I toyed with the Squash Ravioli but instead decided on the Butternut Squash Pizza. No link this time so here's the recipe:

Butternut Squash Pizza

1 butternut squash
¼ c. grated mozzarella cheese

Olive oil
¼ c. grated Gruyere cheese

Salt and Pepper
12 sprigs parsley
2 cloves garlic
20 sage leaves

Pizza dough for 1 pizza
½ lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut crosswise just above the bulge. Cut off the top about ½ below the stem and the bottom as well. Peel the two squash pieces. Cut both pieces lengthwise and then cut ¼ inch slices (after removing seeds from bottom half). You will have half moons for the upper part, and elongated C shapes from the bottom half. Brush the slices with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast about 30 minutes or until the slices are lightly browned and tender to the touch.

Meanwhile, peel and chop fine the garlic and add to about ¼ c. olive oil. When the squash slices are done, remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 450 to 500 degrees. Brush the prepared pizza crust with the olive oil and garlic, and sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella and Gruyere. Arrange the slices of cooked squash over the cheese. Bake the pizza for about 10 minutes, until the crust is browned and the cheeses have melted. While the pizza is baking, chop the parsley leaves. Fry the sage leaves briefly in hot olive oil, then drain them on an absorbent towel. When the pizza is done, garnish with the sage leaves, the chopped parsley, and a squeeze of lemon.

The only change I made was adding sliced baked acorn squash to the butternut squash. I made my own pizza crust because I think it tastes so much better. I resorted to a pizza pan instead of cooking it directly on my pizza stone so I could more easily share the photos of the finished pie. I had my doubts about enjoying this pizza. I'm a classic thin crust, deeply flavored tomato sauce, cheese with pepperoni kinda gal. I'm not much for white pizzas. If there's no tomato sauce baked into that delicious thin crust where do you get the umami flavor?More than plenty umami going on here. The squash is tender and just a little bit sweet but melds so nicely with the tangy cheese (and under layer of bits of garlic) with the fried sage. Make sure you use the best olive oil for all parts of this recipe, it makes a huge difference and is an integral part of the flavor profile. Don't punk out on the fried sage and sprinklings of parsley, it's delicious. It's a wonderfully bright fresh taste and certainly a change from my normal pizza routine. An excellent fall feast.


Big Shamu said...

Susan of 29 Black Street was up very early this morning so please go check out her stuffed pumpkin, you won't be sorry.

Big Shamu said...

Also Rachel at Slow Life Lane tells us how she really feels about pumpkins.

Susan said...

WOW ! That looks amazing and fantastic photography !!! and it Slow Lane Life -

Hahaha - Rachel she's very funny

and B Shamu the little coyote is doin' really well - hopin' the big grey coyote arrives tomorrow night.

I'm up with Pumpkin packed with Bread, cheese, onions, cream & bacon.

Making Space said...

OMG that's so beautiful! I can't wait to check out the other DSSers too. I'm in, for the first time, have a pumpkin pie in the oven! Woot! It is frozen but will be a big hit with the fam, which I understand from Buzzkill is the point. Woohoo! Shamu, LOVE the pizza! Well, in theory. Heh.

Big Shamu said...

It's pretty good. I bought a pumpkin to try making Susan's recipe later on this week it looks so good.

Can't wait until Susan's newest coyote arrives. I think she's going to be a very busy woman.

LaDivaCucina said...

Ok, this is REALLY WEIRD.... Me and hubby were riding our bikes to the grocery (grrr!) from the beach this afternoon to get somthing for lunch and I thought to myself...hmmmm... what if I did a pizza for lunch with the squash? And here it is!!!! Wow, simpatico!

AND you made the dough! You are so good like that!

Did you do the arrangement and photograph the first photo? if so, man, you are good. Your pizza's colours look just like autumn! Very nice!

I've put up the DSS on my Facebook Fan page and am giving others until tonight to email me and I'll post later.

Just made some banana coconut bread and have to make dinner now, will check everyone else out later and let you know when I'm up!

Very, very NICE job on DSS, Shamu!

Buzz Kill said...

I'm not much of a white pizza fan either but this looks good. Was the fried sage overpowering at all because it's a pretty strong flavor? I first thought the "C" shanpes were carmelized onions until I reread the recipe. Nice job.

I'm up at the Buzzkill with a double-challenge entry. You'll see what I mean.

Happy DSS

Dani said...

I love your pictures tonight! So beautiful with the warm autumn tones.

Is there a certain flour that you prefer when doing pizza crusts?

I'm up at my place. :) Happy DSS

Big Shamu said...

So many questions, where to begin?

Yes all food photos mine. Shot outside when it was overcast so it was like a big giant lightbox.
Buzz, the sage is tempered by the frying, makes it milder yet pleasant. I might try some caramelized onions next time.

Dani, pizza dough flour. Funny that you should ask. I have Alice Waters Pizza cookbook. I looked at that recipe for dough but I just wasn't in the mood to add yet another flour (rye) to my vast flour collection. I went with Cook's Illustrated Best of 2009 recipes and they suggest bread flour (also not in my collection) so I went with all purpose which was their second choice. It was wonderful.

Jenny said...

you make vegetables look good.

Big Shamu said...

Look good enough that you'll want to eat them?

Making Space said...

I've got my cooked-from-frozen pie up on my blog, y'all go check it out. Next time I may add an ingredient to make it something other than removing it from a box. But I am all over the DSS now. Yep!

LaDivaCucina said...

Ok, I'm finally up and have my cousin's entry too! YUM! Goin' round to see everyone else now!

Shamu, I have to say again how uber impressed I am with your gourd display! (even though they are a bit rude!) It's so hard to place things so they look nice and you did such a great job!

LaDivaCucina said...

PS: Did you notice my FLAN link?!