This gorgeous pizza pie was inspired by the incredible True Food Kitchen-Chicago. My husband, Alex, her boyfriend, and I had dinner there on Christmas Eve, and the hubby ordered their butternut squash smoked onion, organic kale, vegan almond ricotta, and dried cranberry pizza. It was AMAZING! I knew that I needed to recreate it at home, and it finally happened.
The Breakfast King and I made homemade pizza dough on Sunday, and spent the afternoon putting our own twist on what is one of my favorite vegetable pizza recipes ever. It’s a mild and rustic winter pizza that requires several steps, but they’re all easy and fun to do.
The first step is making the crust. If you’ve never made your own pizza crust, it’s time. There is nothing better. Our recipe has cornmeal and minced garlic in it, and it’s pretty freaking incredible. It’s also really crispy and chewy, just like it should be. It only takes fifteen minutes to make the dough, and then you have to let it rise twice, which is great, because while the dough turns into a big pillow, you can roast the squash and make the almond ricotta (the almonds need to soak in water overnight, then you’ll need to remove the skins).
Roasting the squash is a breeze. All you’ll need to do is quarter it, scoop the seeds out, sprinkle some salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil on top, and wrap in foil and roast for 45 minutes. While that’s happening, you can whip up the almond ricotta in the blender.
Once the dough is ready, it’s time to roll it out and make some pizzas.
How to Make Homemade Pizza
First things first, you have to make the crust. To make transferring the pizza to the oven easy, roll the dough out on a pizza slide or a thin cookie sheet. Cover it with a thin layer of flour and cornmeal to prevent sticking and pat the dough into a disc, then roll it out into a twelve-inch circle. Brush a thin layer of olive oil over the top of the crust and a bit of sea salt, then add the ricotta. Spread the ricotta evenly over the top, and finally, arrange the squash slices, onions, and cranberries. Carefully transfer the pizza to the hot stone, cookie sheet, or oven rack, and bake for fifteen to eighteen minutes. See note.
The pizza is done, now finish it by throwing a bunch of peppery arugula on top and then drizzle some tangy balsamic vinegar all over it.
Just look at that delicious, hot, melty, and colorful pizza! This is one of the mildest, most beautiful, elegant pizzas I’ve ever made. My rendition is a bit different than the one at True Food Kitchen. Their pizza has kale and patches of almond ricotta. I chose to spread the ricotta over the entire crust and use fresh arugula. They smoked their onions, and I put sweet white onions on top. Additionally, I drizzled balsamic vinegar on top for a bit of acid. Both pizzas are delicious.
This is the type of recipe that brings people together. It’s a weekend cooking project that’s perfect for a wintry Saturday or Sunday afternoon. And, because this recipe makes two twelve-inch pizzas, it would also be fun to invite friends over and make a party out of it.
Make it and come back and let me know how you liked it.
Note: If you have a pizza stone (I highly suggest getting one, they make the crust crisp up like nothing else) soak it in water for five minutes and pop it in the oven so it gets nice and hot. If you don’t have a stone, heat up a cookie sheet, or bake it on the oven rack, just make sure you put some foil or another cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch any spillage that may occur.
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