Growing large amounts of pumpkin and winter squash is one strategy we use to keep our garden harvest going long into winter. We can and freeze most of our garden vegetables. But at some point the chest freezer and the freezer in the house are stuffed. The beauty of winter squash is that it stores unfrozen, uncanned, without processing, for many months. It doesn’t hurt that we both love the taste and it is full of vitamins – the perfect winter food, we think.
We harvested over 150 pounds of neck pumpkins in the past month.
We can’t squeeze another thing in our freezer space, so we’re pretty much eating pumpkin or squash every night of the week to use up the ones that either have small spots or aren’t super-ripe. We know that those won’t last as long as the others and don’t want to risk losing them to rot.
Saturday is pizza night at our house. I’ve been experimenting with pumpkin pizza the past few weeks. I have tried two different white pizzas. They used combinations of sage, caramelized onions, and parmesan or mozzarella cheese with roasted cubes of squash. Jim wasn’t a huge fan of either. But last weekend I made up a recipe that was a huge hit. It was very simple, too!
Pumpkin (or winter squash) pizza*
2 tbsp. olive oil
1-1.5 cups pizza sauce (tomato-based, home-canned if you have it!)
½ cup mozzarella cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 large Spanish onion
2 red peppers (we use anchos, bell would also work)
¾-1 tsp salt
1-1½ tsp powdered sage
2 cloves garlic
½ cup black olives (optional)
your favorite pizza crust
Cover the squash cubes with olive oil and roast in a 400F oven for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the squash is cooking, stretch out your pizza dough on a greased cookie sheet. Chop the onion and peppers and fry them in olive oil over medium heat until the onions are nearly caramelized, adding the salt about ½ way through to get the excess moisture out. Add garlic to the frying pan toward the end of the caramelizing process.
Pre-bake your pizza crust for about 5-7 minutes. Top with pizza sauce and cheeses, onion/pepper/garlic mixture, roasted pumpkin and sprinkle with sage. Add olives if desired. Bake pizza as recommended for your crust recipe. Enjoy!
*Makes one cookie-sheet sized pizza.
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