This was one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made. And if it wasn’t for my good friend’s birthday, I would have never even come up with it. I asked her what she would like for her birthday meal and she asked for butternut squash ravioli. Well, I don’t know how to make ravioli and I’m not sure I have the counter space to roll out raviolis…so I went with a pizza instead. And we were both very pleasantly surprised.
What you’ll need:
- 1 medium sized butternut squash
- 2 cups arugula
- whole wheat pizza crust (I like to pick up TJ’s crust – makes life much easier)
- 2 caramelized onions
- 3 TBS white balsamic glaze (for drizzling)
For Ricotta: (adapted from my favorite lasagna recipe)
- 1/2 package firm tofu
- 1 cup basil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 TBS miso paste
- 1 TBS lime juice (or lemon. but I just happened to have limes on hand)
This was quite an ambitious undertaking and I decided to do all the hard stuff a day before the dinner, since we were celebrating on a weeknight and no one likes to do that much work after spending 9-10 hours at the office. I would suggest this as well, unless you’re making it on a Saturday or Sunday and have the time to do everything at once.
First, caramelize your onions.
To roast your butternut squash, you can either cut it in half and roast as is or cut down into cubes. I chose to cut down into cubes so I wouldn’t have to cut it down further to put on the pizza. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash in a bit of olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until squash can be pierced with a fork. I took it out a little bit prior to being fully done, since I knew I was going to put it back in the oven on the pizza and didn’t want it to be too mushy.
This was my first time making a balsamic reduction/glaze and while it was time consuming, I was really excited with the depth and flavor it added to the pizza. Plus, the leftovers can be heated up by putting the container in hot water until the vinegar gets runny again, and you can use it on other dishes. Take 1 cup vinegar (I used white because it’s what I had on hand. I don’t believe it really matters) add 1 TBS agave syrup and heat in a sauce pan. Bring it to a simmer and stir almost constantly so the reduction doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. I ended up spending about 45 minutes and reducing down to 1/4 cup.
Now you’re ready to make the ricotta. Press your tofu ahead of time, but make sure not to press it too long or it will be dry after baking. Take all the ricotta ingredients: garlic, tofu, lime juice, miso paste and basil and puree in your ninja or food processor.
Preheat your oven to 425. Roll out your dough with flour and place on a baking sheet. Spread the ricotta on top of the pizza and add the rest of your toppings, except for the balsamic glaze.
Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the glaze. Cook for 8-12 minutes or until crust is browned.
While your pizza is cooking, warm up your balsamic glaze for easier drizzling. (I put a little water in the base of a pan and turned the burner on low). Drizzle the balsamic over the still-hot pizza. Cut and serve. This is bound to be a hit even with your non-vegan friends, and I can’t wait to make it again (when I have time). It’s a perfect almost-fall dinner and tastes so much fancier than just weeknight pizza.