I love it when the unknown turns out to be awesome. I was supposed to make a new Mexican recipe tonight, but wasn't feeling it because we ended up going to eat Mexican food with some friends for lunch. Yes, I am one of those people who doesn't want to eat the same ethnicity of food twice in one day. I need a night's sleep in between, if at all possible. So when the girls were resting, I did some investigating in the fridge/pantry to see what my other options were. I had a bunch of kale in the fridge that was on its last leg. I had leftover cleaned spring greens that also needed to be used, so I wanted a dish that would go nicely with a side salad. And then there was that darn acorn squash staring at me. Why couldn't it be butternut? Butternut is so much easier to peel and use outside of the boring old roasted squash halves preparation. I had no magic wand, so acorn it was. I remembered a recipe for a squash and kale quinoa salad, and while that is quite good, it just didn't fit the bill on this occasion. The weather was chilly, damp, and dark. Lately, that has created a desire for bread baking, so I needed something that would satisfy that urge as well. Hmmmm...a pizza? Would that work? Can you put squash on a pizza? I consulted Google and soon learned that roasted squash was a perfectly acceptable pizza topping. I also found that it often went with kale on said pizza--bingo! We had a winner. I looked at several recipes, and noticed I didn't have the right fresh herbs for one, the right cheese for another, the right squash (or sweet potato) for another...blah blah. A few years ago that discovery would have set me on another path as I searched for a recipe I could follow exactly. But I am more confident in the kitchen now, and thought this sounded like a fun little challenge. The girls were happy playing, so I cracked open a beer and got to work. I don't know about you, but I rather enjoy an adult beverage while preparing dinner. A couple of sources suggested topping the pizza with balsamic vinegar, which always makes greens taste better in my opinion, and lucky for me I had the good stuff. My husband brought me this beautiful bottle of balsamic from his Rome trip a few weeks ago. I had been waiting for just the right occasion to open it. Ah, the time was right. Isn't this bottle stunning?
After I made my plan, I roasted some vegetables, grated some cheese, mixed up some pizza dough, had a lot of fun in the process and threw this in the oven. It looked promising enough.
But when I pulled it out of the oven, I knew I had something special. If nothing else, it was exactly as I imagined it would be. I could not wait to dig in.
This combination was so divine. Hot, crisp dough with mild cheese, sweet nutty squash, balance of bitter/sweet in the greens. I really really loved it, and so did my husband. I couldn't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today, and I am so sad that this pizza is gone. Please try it. Trust me. Throw out any assumptions of flavorless pizza without sauce and Just. Make. This. Pizza. Now. Pretty please?
Squash and Balsamic Kale Pizza
-1 recipe pizza dough (you know which one I used, don't you?)
-1 small acorn squash, peeled (be careful, it's tough) and diced. Any winter squash will do. Or a sweet potato.
-1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
-1/4 t. dried thyme
-mozzarella (grate it yourself, please). Provolone or Fontina would also be fantastic.
-1 T. balsamic vinegar
-1-2 c. kale, stems removed and sliced into thin ribbons
Toss squash, red onion, thyme, salt/pepper and 1 T. olive oil together and roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes (stir every 10 min or so), or until soft and golden. Toss kale and balsamic together in a small bowl. Roll out your dough and brush it liberally with olive oil. Top with cheese, squash/onion mixture, kale, and then a little more cheese. Turn your oven up to 425 and bake the pizza until golden and cheese is melted (15-20 min). Slice and serve.
Note: I served this with a salad as I said I would. Currently, I am hooked on some mixed greens topped with walnuts, fruit (usually some diced apple, pear, or halved purple grapes--depends on the fruit my kids choose for their plates), and Brianna's Honey Dijon Dressing. All the Brianna's dressings are great, but this is a house favorite around here. These are NOT low-fat dressings but are so concentrated that you barely need any. Plus they are free of crappy ingredients that you can't pronounce.
I do what I do because I love it. The greatest part of existing on this planet is the ability to work with other humans and see their joy come to life. That's why I work in two different worlds.
As a wedding planner, I am lucky enough to get to know couples as they go through an intense but really joyful journey. My goal is for you to focus on the marriage part, while I focus on the wedding part of. Let me take some of the work of your hands and let you two enjoy your day, enjoy the people that will be celebrating with you, and be in the moment.
As a web developer and digital marketer, I get to see your heart and soul come to life on the interwebs. We get to discuss your goals and your vision, and my hope is that I help that come to fruition. Basically, I am here to make dreams come true, and I could not think of a better way to exist.
I currently live with my fiancé and attempt to bribe him daily into letting me get a puppy. Lover of eggs and avocado toast, too many potted plants, a good Netflix binge, and swearing more than my parents would care to hear.
Let's dream together.