I LOVE making homemade pizza. And I absolutely love coming up with new ideas for topping and flavor combinations. I feel like the possibilities for making pizza at home are endless once you know how to either make your own dough (I promise it’s easy once you do it a few times), or have an awesome resource for freshly made dough.
It’s gotten to the point where when I make dough, I make at least a double, if not triple batch and divide it up to freeze for whenever the mood strikes. Some days it even becomes a quick after school snack. Yes, I sometimes make the kids pizza for a snack. I do this because the value of the tomatoes and the protein in the cheese completely beat out the crackers and granola bars they’d most likely want to grab if I didn’t make it. It just feels like a good thing to have in my repertoire.
When you freeze the dough, it literally takes maybe an hour to thaw on the counter and it’s ready to go. And then on those nights when you just don’t have time or, quite honestly, don’t feel like making dinner and think…we should order pizza…your next thought can be, no! We should make pizza. And feel good doing it and eating it and after eating it. Because it’s healthier and cleaner and hands down tastier!
There is a legend of a place in Saint Joe (the next town over) for pizza called Silver Beach Pizza. Personally, I love it. I never go there, but I love it. It’s built in an old train station and looks out to the beach. Their crust is super thin that it almost disappears so you can taste all the amazing ingredients on top. I’d have to say the pizza of theirs that I’ve had that is my favorite is the roasted garlic. It’s a simple take on a red sauce and cheese version, but with an extra kick from the garlic.
This recipe here was inspired by a fall special I tried that they had (and may still have) years ago. I don’t remember everything that was on it, but I think most of these ingredients were. Regardless, I came up with this recipe as a way of trying something new using seasonal ingredients. And we love it around here! It’s the perfect combination of sweet from the butternut squash and brown sugar, salty from the cheeses and bacon, and toasty from the crispy kale. It’s truly special. It’s best right out of the oven, but reheats nicely the next day on low heat in the oven.
Speaking of kale, be on the lookout for Spinach and Kale Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Roasted Red Peppers. An equally beautiful and delicious, and vegetarian, pizza just waiting to jump in your belly. ENJOY!
- 1 pound pizza dough
- ½ butternut squash, peeled and small diced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¾ cup chopped kale leaves
- ½ cup creamy blue cheese crumbles
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss butternut squash with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and mash in a small bowl with a fork.
- Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees and place baking stone or baking sheet into the oven to preheat.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bacon and cook in a sauté pan over medium heat until crispy, turning once. Remove from heat and crumble in a small bowl. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into a rough circle or whatever shape you like.
- Gently spread the butternut squash as evenly as possible over the dough, leaving a ½-1 inch border for the crust.
- Layer the red onion slices and bacon overtop of the spreaded squash. Sprinkle the blue and fontina cheeses around and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is just beginning to brown.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the kale leaves all around the top of the crust. Place back in the oven and bake until the kale leave are crisp but still green.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing. ENJOY!