The Delicata squash stored in a wooden box under my bed are starting to soften. Harvested last fall, and cured in the greenhouse, these cream-colored fruits with green stripes are a favorite winter squash of ours. The delicate skin or rind can be eaten, so they are a snap to prepare. Scrub the squash well, scoop out the seeds and steam or roast them.
Just like clockwork, this is the time of season when stored winter vegetables need to be carefully checked and processed. Cooked delicate squash may be frozen, and can be used in many culinary preparations, including soups and stews, stir-fries and salads, stuffed with rice, even on pizza. Smoked shrimp and squash pizza is the kind of dish you might find in a trendy pizza parlor. Instead of a tomato sauce base, creamy goat cheese is mixed with squash and olive oil. Caramelized onions add sweetness, while the salt and smoke from the shrimp balance the richness. Fontina cheese, with its distinctive and creamy flavor, adds an earthy note.
This pie has lots of creative opportunities. No shrimp? Try chopped bacon or ham. Mushrooms would be delicious, and red bell peppers would add a pop of color. Fresh mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan are other cheesy options.
We enjoyed our pizza with a glass of sparkling cider. Next I’d like to try it with a local beer. Packed in the lunchbox, smoked shrimp and squash pizza was tasty at room temperature with a cup of hot tea.
Smoked Shrimp & Squash Pizza
Yields 8 slices
10 oz. pizza dough
1 Tbsp. squash or olive oil
2 oz. goat cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 cup onion, caramelized in bacon fat
1 cup cubed roasted, delicata squash or butternut squash
½ cup smoked shrimp
½-¾ cup grated Cheddar
½ cup grated fontina
Chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Sprinkle a 12-inch pizza pan with cornmeal. Roll out the dough to fit the pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, goat cheese and salt. Spread on the bottom of the pie. Spread the caramelized onions over the goat cheese mixture, then sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese.
Scatter the cubed squash and shrimp evenly over the top. Sprinkle the top with the grated Fontina and then scatter the chopped fresh rosemary.
Bake until bottom is nicely browned.
Nutritional analysis per slice: 218 calories, 10 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 197mg. sodium, 1.2 grams fiber.