meatless monday: butternut squash, chard & sage pizza

I know many people, some close friends and family included, who are not big fans of New York City, in particular, Manhattan. We may lack forests, and amber waves of grain, and nature in general. But man, we sure know how to eat, and we eat well and often.

Yesterday we moseyed on down to the Grub Street Food Festival, in which several dozen food booths take over the Hester Street Fair. And although this fair was (not surprisingly) pork-heavy (c’mon, bacon cookies? Srsly people.), there were some meatless standouts:

A wheat bao dumpling stuffed with edamame by Bruce Cost.
Roasted plum paletas by La Newyorkina.
Zucchini and broccoli stuffed empanadas by La Sonrisa.
PB & J blondies by Peels.
The flippin’ outstanding “Mermaid” (vanilla soft-serve, key lime curd, crushed grahams and whipped cream) by Big Gay Ice Cream.

But the most inspiring/delicious? From White Belly Pizza: butternut squash, sage, creamy mozzarella on a puffy, crispy, chewy, salty crust (how was the crust all those things? I’m not sure. Fabulous though.). I found a similar recipe on this blog, which adds a little Swiss chard and balsamic vinegar. A perfect fall pizza!

Butternut Squash, Chard & Sage Pizza
adapted from Homemaker’s Habitat

Dough or prepared crust for one pizza (whole grain works amazingly with the squash)
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into half-inch cubes
1 small sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt & pepper to taste
3 leaves of swiss chard, center ribs removed
2 tbsp. cup crumbled goat cheese
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. fresh sage leaves
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. aged balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine butternut squash, onion, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl; toss until the oil is evenly distributed. Spread squash and onions on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20- 25 min., until the squash is tender and golden and onions are soft (stir occasionally for even browning). Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Raise oven temperature to 500 F and insert pizza stone into the oven if using one.

Roll pizza dough to a 1/4-inch thick on parchment paper. Brush dough with remaining olive oil to evenly coat crust. Sprinkle squash and onions, chard, cheeses and nutmeg evenly over crust. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 min. until crust is crisp and the cheeses are golden and bubbly.

While pizza cooks, heat 1 tsp. of vegetable oil in a small pan over medium heat until very hot. Add sage leaves and fry for about 30 seconds, until leaves begin to crisp. (Be careful not to burn them.) Remove leaves from oil and drain on paper towels until pizza is ready to serve.

Sprinkle sage leaves over cooked pizza and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


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