Our summer garden has just begun to wind down. On Tuesday and Friday mornings you will find monks working with the garden steward tending to a variety of growing things in the large garden just outside of the kitchen. It is hard to put into words the joy of popping a small seed out of a paper sleeve and then weeks later picking the fruit of this seed and bringing it to the kitchen for the cook. What satisfaction to eat food that has only been transported on foot from the garden to the kitchen. The transportation has not called into play trains, planes, trucks, and automobiles! As we continue to practice leaving a smaller and smaller footprint on the earth this seems a significant contribution.
One of the fruits of the summer garden is butternut squash. These plants did very well and gave us a number of squashes. What do you do with a number of butternut squashes? Turn them into pizza! The garden steward passed on this recipe to us and we pass it on to you. It is not only tasty but also very elegant in appearance.
Butternut Squash, Sage and Parmesan Pizza
1 ½ cups cubed butternut squash in 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 garlic cloves minced
3 Tbsp. cream or half and half
3 Tbsp. finely grated parmesan cheese plus extra for sprinkling
½ cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
½ delicata squash, very thinly sliced with seeds removed
2/3 cup fresh sage leaves
Use your favorite pizza crust – two small or one medium crust. This can be store-bought and premade or homemade.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and add the cubed squash. Toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast until fork tender, about 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking time.
- Once the squash is finished, let it cool slightly, then transfer it to a food processor. Puree it with the garlic until whipped and smooth. Stream in the cream and parmesan cheese. It will be thick!
- Brush the edges of the pizza crust with olive oil. Spread the squash base on the pizza crust. Top with the mozzarella, parmesan and delicata squash rounds. Top with the sage.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (or around 15 to 20 minutes if using a pizza stone) until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove and sprinkle with extra sage and parmesan if you wish.
Vegan option: Steam slices of butternut squash until tender. Drizzle olive oil on your favorite pizza crust. Top with slices of butternut squash, garlic to taste, vegan parmesan cheese and fresh sage leaves. Omit the delicata squash. Sprinkle with salt and paper and bake at 425 degrees F until hot, around 10 minutes.