Caramelized Butternut Squash & Pomegranate Salsa
Garlic sage pesto (with pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, salt & pepper), shredded Fontina, pomegranate salsa (with dried cranberries, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, salt & pepper), caramelized butternut squash (with brown sugar & butter), toasted country wheat bread crumbs, fennel fronds
Ingredients: 1 ball of pizza dough flour for dusting
semolina flour for pizza stone olive oil salt & pepper hunk of Fontina, shredded ¼ cup bread crumbs (we used a country wheat loaf, cut into cubes) 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter fronds from the top of 2 fennel bulbs (if you don't have fennel lying around, you can use another type of green as a garnish) 2 cups butternut squash, peeled & cubed
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar maple syrup (optional)
For the pesto: 3-4 cloves garlic 6-8 sage leaves 1-2 tablespoons pine nuts 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
For the salsa: ¾ cup pomegranate seeds ¼ cup dried cranberries 1 jalapeño, seeds removed & chopped 2 tablespoons dried cilantro juice of 1 lime
Directions: Preheat your oven to 550° F, or as hot as it will go. Next, melt a teaspoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and toasted. Set aside.
Next, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and add the butternut squash. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and stir until coated. Add salt & pepper to taste and cook, stirring frequently to avoid burning, for about 20-25 minutes. If you like, you can add a dash of maple syrup about halfway through. When the squash is fork tender and beginning to caramelize all over, you can take it off the heat.
Make the garlic sauce by combining the garlic, sage, pine nuts, parmesan, a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt in a food processor, and pulsing until a thick sauce is formed.
Now you can begin to prepare your dough, using the instructions on the right. Next, make the pomegranate salsa by combining the pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and salt & pepper to taste.
When the oven is hot and your dough has baked for a minute, brush it lightly with olive oil, followed by an even coating of the garlic sauce. Next add the cheese, pomegranate salsa, butternut squash and toasted bread crumbs, and return the pizza to the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Take it out, sprinkle with the fresh fennel fronds, and enjoy!
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