With pomegranate salsa.
I am obsessed.
Obsessed with all things butternut, pomegranate and cranberries. Yesterday I made three recipes featuring either pomegranates and/or cranberries. I am pretty sure that as I write this the floors around my house are sprinkled with big bright red cranberries. Hey, at least it’s festive!
Also, when I set out to make this pizza, I promise I did not intend for it to look like Christmas exploded all over. Really, I promise.
But I mean, come on. This has got to be the prettiest pizza I have ever made, and I personally love the red and green colors. I wanted so badly to wait until December to post this, but my excitement gave in. I have been dying to tell you guys about this since October sixteenth. And I only know the exact date because that’s what it says on the photo info, really, I have not been counting the days or anything…..
Looking at these pictures, I just have to tell you guys the story behind this pizza.
Don’t worry, it’s short.
I was overly exited about this pizza. So excited that when I took it out of the oven, pizza pan in one hand, salsa in the other, with a pizza cutter, forks and a towel some how in my arms as well, I tripped.
Yes. I tripped with everything in my hands.
And no, I did not catch myself and land on my feet.
Nope, the complete opposite. I landed sprawled on the floor, pizza five feet away, a broken bowl (that I LOVED) and pomegranate arils everywhere.
It ended with me in tears.
Tears that led me to pick up the pizza, throw on some more cheese, melt it, make more salsa and shoot the torn in half pizza.
Let’s just say it was a long day.
A long day that ended in the best way.
Really awesome cheesy pizza……
Eaten off the floor.
If you are not into the salsa, it is totally optional, but I loved it!
Plus, oh my gosh it makes the pizza so pretty! I love, love, love the colors!! It is perfect for both Thanksgiving and Christmas entertaining. Serve it as meal or cut it up into smaller pieces and serve it as an appetizer. People will be so impressed.
Plus, it is so good.
And there are loads of fontina and caramelized butternut squash in it. Oh, and did I mention I am also obsessed with caramelizing pretty much everything I can? Yes, lately I am loving all things caramelized!
- Pizza Dough
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves roasted garlic (or 1 regular clove)
- 6-8 sage leaves, to your taste
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (or more!)
- 1 small bunch kale, leaves torn
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
- Pomegranate salsa
- 3/4 cup pomegranate arils (learn [how to deseed your pomegranate here | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/deseed-pomegranate-pictures/])
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the Dough: In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and honey. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in the flour and olive oil stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour in to the dough if needed, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. You can also do all the mixing and kneading in your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising I like to roast the garlic and prepare the rest of the pizza. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top the garlic cloves, cover with foil and roast in a baking dish for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Allow to cool and then squeeze garlic out of the paper skin into a small bowl, set aside.
While the garlic is roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and melt. Add the butternut squash and sprinkle with brown sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently to avoid burning for 20 to 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender and beginning to caramelize all over. Once caramelized remove from the heat and set aside.
Add four cloves of roasted garlic, the sage, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Process until a thick sauce forms.
When the dough is ready add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough out until you have a flattened disk. Place the dough on the pan and then use your hands to gently tug, pull and push the pizza dough into your desired shape (I made one 12-inch pizza).
Now spread on the roasted garlic/sage pesto sauce, followed by a couple handfuls of shredded fontina cheese. Top the pizza with the caramelized butternut squash and add a handful more of fontina cheese.
Slide the pizza into the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Add the kale to a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss well and massage the kale with your hands for a good 1 to 2 minutes. After the pizza has been cooking for 10-15 (10 if you like it doughy, 15 if you like it more crispy) minutes remove from the oven and spread the kale over the pizza. Then pop the pizza back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until the kale is crispy. I would start checking the pizzas around 5 minutes in and turning the pan if needed. The dough will sizzle a little since it’s on olive oil.
Once the pizza is done remove from the oven and allow to sit five minutes. Slice and serve with the pomegranate salsa!
To make the salsa, add the pomegranate arils, cranberries, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss well. Serve.
So pretty, right?!?