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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Farmer's Market Item of the Week: Butternut Squash

It may be February, but the Regional Market is still quite busy on Saturday mornings and full of produce, seafood, meat and dairy products.  My green kitchen creation this week features a winter favorite of mine, butternut squash.  Butternut squash is a great vegetable because, like sweet potatoes and other orange vegetables, it is full of beta carotene and fiber, and is extremely versatile.  Many people think of squash as that dish that gets passed around the Thanksgiving table with very few takers.  On the contrary, it can be used for many months past Thanksgiving as its super easy to cook and can be used in so many ways.  Today I made a butternut squash veggie pizza by substituting tomato sauce with pureed roasted squash.  Find the recipe below and feel free to substitute any vegetables that you like for your toppings.  I used red and green bell peppers as well as broccoli, onions, and garlic, but in the past I've also added eggplant for a more hearty topping.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (how much depends on the size pizza you want to make)

1 medium butternut squash
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
dash of salt
dash of ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place whole squash in for about 5 minutes to soften.

Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Place cut-side down on a cookie sheet and place back in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

When fully roasted, scoop out the soft inside of squash and place in a blender to puree.  This will be used as your pizza sauce.

To make the pizza crust, place a sprinkle of cornmeal on a pizza stone to prevent the dough form sticking.  Roll out the dough and spread pureed squash all over.  Coarsely chop vegetables to be used as your toppings and sautee in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat.  When the veggies are slightly softened, but still firm, spread over crust and top with a dash of salt and ground pepper.  Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and bake for 15-18 minutes at 375 degrees.
Slice and enjoy healthy dose of colorful veggies!

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