Butternut, Feta, and Crispy Sage Pizza


So . . . my newest favourite food is . . .
 . . . toasted sage leaves!
Can’t believe I haven’t discovered these until now. They add a ton of flavour and texture and yumminess to pretty much anything savory: as a garnish for soup, on top of sweet potatoes, or as an ingredient in crostini. In this recipe they add just the right amount of crunch as a pizza topping.

When I mentioned to Den that I had made Butternut Squash Pizza for dinner, there was a slight pause and then a careful, polite response. I don’t blame him. I mean, really . . . does squash pizza sound good to you? However, his “This is really good!” comment after his first bite reassured me that I hadn’t blown it after all.

First: make your pizza dough, or go and buy some . . . but it won’ t be as good as homemade :) and this is so fast and easy, there is no excuse not to make it.

  • 1 package (1 Tbsp.) yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

In a small bowl, sprinkle 1 package (1 Tbsp.) yeast over 1 cup of 110 degree water. Let stand undisturbed for about 10 minutes until creamy.
Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the yeast and the olive oil and mix well until you have a stiff dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large circle about 1/8″ thick, and slide onto a non-stick or prepared pizza pan.

Pizza Toppings

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • fresh ground sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cheese of your choice. (I used crumbled feta)
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and stems discarded
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10-15 fresh sage leaves
  • grapeseed oil (for frying sage)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel the squash and slice the neck into 1/4 inch rounds. Place in a single layer on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes until fork tender.
Make garlic infused oil by adding 2 peeled and finely chopped garlic cloves to 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
Brush this mixture over the crust.
Sprinkle the crumbled feta (or cheese of your choice) over the garlic oil.
Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
Arrange the squash slices on top of the cheese.
Top with the grated Parmesan.

Bake at 400F. for 8-10 minutes or a little longer depending on how thick you made the crust.

While your pizza is baking, toast the sage leaves. Heat a little grapeseed oil in a small skillet until it just barely starts to smoke. Have paper towel ready right beside the stove.  Using tongs, drop the sage leaves into the hot oil for no more than 5 seconds, or until they just start to change colour. Remove from the oil and drain on the paper towel. Crumble on top of the warm pizza, slice and serve with your favourite (local) beer.
Hope you like this as much as we did!

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About joinmefordinner

. . . living in the Cowichan Valley, cooking for my appreciative family and friends, and taking advantage of all this area has to offer including local organic produce, cheese, wine, artisan breads, and fresh-caught seafood.
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