spinach, broccoli, peppers & squash. sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, creamy mozzerella & pesto. this sundried tomato-butternut squash/broccoli pesto pizza truly has it all!
ahhh pizza. it really is one of the best foods out there. so versatile, countless options for crusts, toppings, cheeses. even bad pizza, or so-so pizza is still intrinsically good, because it's hard to go wrong with the basic crust-toppings equation. but, that said, all pizzas are definitely not created equal.
anyone who makes their own pizza at home - and i am no exception here! - will tell you that there is just no comparison to restaurant pizza. the secret is in the dough. homemade is the best - ben's pizza dough recipe is consistently amazing - perfectly chewy, crisp bottom and slightly doughy edges, just the right yeasty flavor.
it doesn't matter how great the stuff from the restaurant may be, there's just something about making it yourself that elevates the entire experience. not only is it really fun, but it is the perfect meal for kids to help with. from rolling their own dough, to choosing their own toppings - i have seen a smiley face made from carrots and peppers from helena, true story - homemade pizza is a hands-on family activity.
we make pizza a lot - at least once a week. and while we do switch up the toppings, we all have our faves. for helena it tends to be the classic crust-sauce-cheese combo. ben goes the sauce, cheese, onion/mushroom/pepper & pepperoni route. and me? it is veggies all the way. the more the merrier. just pile 'em on. add a whole lot of cheese, some s & p on the crust and you've got pizza magic. bliss in every bite.
for this pizza, i had fully intended to go with my usual sundried tomato/roasted butternut squash/onion/mushroom/pepper/veggie sausage combo. but then i spotted some leftover pesto in the fridge. as every pesto-lover knows, pesto + pizza = success. so what's a girl to do? 1/2 and 1/2! when you just can't choose, go for both!
when it comes to pizza toppings, the possibilities are endless. whatever you love, go for it. whether you choose the pesto side, the butternut squash side - or both! - you are in for a real treat.
recipe: sundried tomato-butternut squash/broccoli pesto pizza
- 1/3 recipe pizza dough
- 1/2 - 3/4 c shredded mozzerella cheese
- 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 c parm-asiago blend - optional
- 2 Tbsp prepared pesto
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 c baby spinash
- 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
- 1/3 c broccoli florets, chopped and cooked - microwaved is easiest
- 1/3 c roasted butternut squash
- 2 Tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes
- finely sliced onion - to taste
- finely sliced mushrooms - to taste
- finely sliced bell pepper - to taste
- 1 veggie sausage patty, cooked according to package directions and chopped
- salt and pepper
for the spinach:
- heat the oil in a small skillet and add the garlic.
- cook over very low heat until the garlic is just beginning to brown
- immediately stir in the spinach and a pinch of salt.
- stir, cover and cook until the spinach is wilted - about 2 minutes
- remove from heat and set aside
- spread the pesto on one 1/2 of the crust
- top with 1/2 the mozzerella, spinach and broccoli
- add 1/2 the parm-asiago blend (if using), or 1/2 the grated parm
- on the other half, sprinkle 1/2 the grated parm
- add the remaining mozzerella, then the butternut squash, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers & veggie sausage
- top with remaining shredded parm-asiago blend
- sprinkle the salt and pepper on the crust
- cook in a very hot oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is just beginning to turn golden
- remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then slice and enjoy!
s & h