Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pizza with Goat Cheese, Butternut Squash, and Leeks

One of these days I am determined to make my own pizza dough.  I have a Jim Lahey recipe that I earmarked forever ago.  I also have a flatbread recipe and a naan recipe that I want to try to use as a pizza crust.  I just haven't gotten around to making any of them  yet.  Until my motivation really kicks in, I can continue to buy balls of pre-made pizza dough at the grocery store, or even buy my own pre-made crusts.  They also sell pizza dough in those biscuit tubes now.  If you buy one of those tube crusts you don't have to try to roll it into a nice circle - instead all you have to do is unroll the tube of dough and you have a perfect, 3/4-inch thick rectangle of pizza dough.  I have always been a little skeptical of the store-bought, pre-made crusts, but after my recent experiments with the lavash pizzas I thought I might as well give them a try.  I picked up one of the crusts at Zabars the other day and decided to give it a try.  I topped the pizza crust with goat cheese, ricotta, and butternut squash from the CSA. 

So I wasn't a huge fan of the pre-made crust, but I'm spoiled from living in NYC where you can get really amazing pizzas.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that I am pretty picky about my crusts.  This one just seemed a little doughy.  And no matter what I did, it was either a little too soft, or a little too hard.  There didn't seem to be any compromise with this particular dough.  It lacked the elasticity of fresh dough.  But so long as we ignore the deficiencies of the crust, I really enjoyed the flavors of the pizza - goat cheese, thyme and butternut squash are a lovely combination.  So I will definitely repeat the toppings.  But next time I will either make my own dough, or buy actual dough and not pre-made crusts!

Recipe after the jump!

Pizza with Goat Cheese, Butternut Squash, and Leeks

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tbsp evoo, separated
1 package store-bought, pre-made thin pizza crust
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half moons
1 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Toss butternut squash with 1 tbsp evoo, s&p.  Spread squash out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until tender, about 30 minutes.  Remove squash from oven and increase heat to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, brush pizza crust with 1/2 tbsp evoo.  Top with goat cheese crumbles and ricotta cheese.  Add fresh thyme.  Season with s&p.  Soak leeks in a mixing bowl full of cool water to remove grit.  Drain and pat dry.  Spread leeks and roasted butternut squash over the cheese.  Drizzle with remaining 1/2 tbsp evoo.  Sprinkle with parm-reg.

Bake pizza until cheese is melted, and crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Depending on the brand of pizza crust you bought it might take a little more or a little less time.  Look at the package for guidelines.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.  Cut and serve.

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