Sunday, 9 October 2011

Roasted delicata squash and leek pizza.

Roasted delicata squash, leek and gruyere pizza

The first squash dish of the season was a pizza. A delicious pizza that I think I will make again on the weekend because I want to re-live that taste dream again. Delicata squash is amazing. Apparently it is an heirloom variety of squash. I had seen pictures of the squash being prepared with the skin on and I had my doubts that it would be edible. After 30 minutes of roasting with a splash of olive oil, brown sugar and cinnamon the skin was soft and the flesh tasted of butternut and corn. I roasted the leeks in the same clay pot, covered, as I did the sliced squash. 

It really ended up being a no fuss (although a somewhat lengthy) cooking process. With the roasted squash and leeks, I used my homemade tomato sauce, dough prepared 3 days prior, fresh bocconcini from whole foods and a touch of grated gruyere. 

I made the pizza while I was drawing figures for my thesis in illustrator during the day. My computer hates illustrator so every time the program would stall I would just get up and do something in the kitchen: cut the squash, wash the leeks, stir the squash, roll the dough, grate the cheese.

I'm going to post an official recipe for my pizza dough process. I've been keeping a lengthy record of my tricks and processes that I'm happy to share. If you are adept at making pizza you can likely just skip to the actual recipe which I have found to be quite versatile, so modify to your liking.

Delicata squash
Roasted Delicata squash and Leek Pizza

Pizza dough
Tomato sauce
1 delicata squash
2 leeks
brown sugar
olive oil
lemon juice
Basil to garnish

1 - Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2 - Cut the squash in half, length wise. Scoop out the seeds (you can soak these then bake at 250, tossed in olive oil and salt for a yummy snack later).
3 - Slice into thin half moons. No removal of the skin required.
4 - Toss the squash in olive oil, coat with a small amount of brown sugar and cinnamon in a clay roasting pot.
5 - Cover squash and place in oven.
6 - Cut stem and dark green leaves off of leeks. Slice leeks the long way in half. Clean leeks well. Soak in water to loosen dirt and rinse again.
7 - Lightly coat leeks with lemon juice, oilve oil and sea salt. 
8 - If there is room, add your leeks to the roasting squash pot; stir the squash, add leeks on top or to the side, cover and continue to roast. Check every 7 minutes or so. When leeks and squash are soft, remove.
9 - When cool, cut leeks into smaller pieces.

10 - Place oven rack to top of oven, and put a pizza stone on it (if you have one). Bring temperature to 500F - bake not broil.
11 - Roll/press out pizza dough. Transfer to a pan sprinkled with corn meal (to prevent sticking) and let rise (15 - 30 minutes)
12 - Layer on tomato sauce, leeks and squash.
12 - Cook pizza for 2 minutes at top of oven on pan.
13 - Remove pizza and add gruyere and fresh bocconcini
14 - Add back to oven. *Slide pizza off of pan if you can onto stone* and cook until crust is nicely browned and cheese is bubbly (for me this takes 3 - 5 minutes)
15 - Garnish with fresh basil.

Roasted delicata squash, leek and gruyere pizza

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