Chef Ross in the house tonight....had a LONG / ROUGH day at work today, so it was awesome to come home and have dindin ready. We had to hit up new parent class tonight, so this was a quick fix (I'm told) - and it was really good! Guess what Ross said though......"um - it would taste really good with some meat on it." :) It was a good choice for a quick, fall feast!
1 small butternut squash (about a pound, but you will likely have leftover
2 cloves garlic
a few sprigs thyme, leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Canola oil for frying
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Remove the skin: Slice the top
of the squash about 1/2-inch under the stem to create a flat edge. Repeat with
the other end. Cut crosswise through the squash just above the bulb — cutting
the squash into two pieces makes the peeling process easier. Note: I made only
one pizza, so I only peeled the longer portion (the non bulb portion) of the
butternut squash. Stand the squash (whichever piece you want to peel first)
upright and, being careful not to slice off your fingers, run your knife down
the sides of the squash removing the peel along the way. Repeat with bulb
portion if desired. After peeling the bulb portion, cut it in half, scoop out
seeds and discard. Cut the peeled squash crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.
Place the slices of squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil,
season with kosher salt to taste, toss to coat, redistribute onto sheet in one
layer and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic and add it to about 1/4 cup of
olive oil. Brush dough with the garlic olive oil. (I spooned some
of the oil into the center of the dough and then, using the back of my spoon,
spread it over the dough to coat evenly.) Spread a thin layer of fresh ricotta
over the garlic oil. Sprinkle with fresh thyme to taste. Top with baked squash
slices. Top with grated Parmigiano. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the sage. The sage leaves should take no longer than 5
seconds in hot oil to crisp up. I didn’t use a thermometer or a deep fryer, so
it was a trial and error process, but I found that frying the leaves one at a
time in a small sauté pan filled with a layer of canola oil worked well
ultimately. I had to take the pan off the heat every so often, but once I got
the hang of it, it was a simple process and well worth the effort — the crispy
sage adds a really nice flavor.
Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the crispy sage. Yum!