foodie fridays: roasted acorn squash pizza

Squash is a funny word.

By definition, it can mean two things: a sport or a plant.

Have you ever played Squash?

Yeah, me neither.

Isn’t it a European thing?

I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, there’s nothing attractive about being in a four-walled court with a small, hard rubber ball flying around. Am I right? Right.

Since we won’t be diving into details about the sport of Squash, let’s check out the other definition of squash. K?

In America, squashes are grouped into two categories: Summer or Winter. Your summer squash is comprised of zucchini and yellow squash, which are harvested during the growing season, while the skin is still tender. They are eaten almost immediately and require little or no cooking time (source).

Your winter squashes are made up of butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti, and acorn squash. These guys are harvested at maturity, generally towards the end of summer or the beginning of fall, so they can develop that hardened skin. They unfortunately have a longer cooking time, but are definitely worth the wait!

Fun fact about squash: it’s considered a vegetable in cooking, but botanically speaking, squash is a fruit because of the seeds grown inside (source).

God, I love factoids.

I think the best way to share factoids is over food.

Oh yes, I don’t mess around with factoids and food. 

I mean really, who wouldn’t want to have an epic conversation about acorn squash, drizzled in maple syrup, followed by mounds of oozing Gorgonzola cheese, and a perfectly golden pizza crust?

I knew we were friends for a reason.

Just don’t expect me to have a factoid battle in a four-walled box, while trying to eat pizza.

Things could get ugly.

Roasted Acorn Squash Pizza
(adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pound of acorn squash
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound store bought pizza dough
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup gorgonzola, crumbled
1 cup arugula

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Slice the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into 1/2 -inch wide half moons and place them in a bowl. Toss the squash with the maple syrup, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Put the squash on a baking sheet and bake the squash until tender and golden. I’d say about 23 minutes.

Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle. Place the pizza and on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese on top of the pizza. Oooooh and Ahhhhh. Bake in oven until golden and cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Peel the skins off the squash. Top the cooked pizza with the yummy cooked squash. Top with the spicy arugula. Slice and serve. Wash it down with a beer too!