Thanksgiving Day Pizza
This is really an any-time pizza, but it is topped with roasted squash, which is usually floating around on Thanksgiving. It's a real fun, quick recipe to do with the kids, and allows them to try squash--a quintessential harvest vegetable-- on a familiar and well-loved dish: pizza!
Makes 6 square pieces
1 sheet of puff pastry*
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup shredded cheese, or 5 cheese slices of choice**
1/2 cup (or more) roasted squash of choice***
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Defrost puff pastry. This takes about 15 minutes, at room temperature. It works well if it is cool, not warm and sticky. Do not defrost it on top of the warm oven.
With a knife, make a border around the edge, half an inch in, for the crust. Don't fully cut through the pastry, but press halfway through with the knife, all the way around. This allows the crust to puff up. Allow your child to "dock" the pastry, inside the border, with a fork. This just means to prick it with the fork all over (again, try not to cut through the pastry). This allows steam to escape so that the middle doesn't puff up.
Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown, and remove from oven, and turn down to 350 degrees.
With a spatula or back of a wooden spoon, and being careful not to touch the hot pan, child can spread tomato sauce over the dough, inside the crust border.
Child can sprinkle cheese on top.
Child can spread the squash as he/she wants to, over the whole pizza, or a half of it, or whatever.
Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
* Puff pastry usually comes frozen at the grocery store, with two sheets. Either double this recipe to make two pizzas, or take one roll out to thaw and put the other back in the freezer.
** I recommend mozzarella or provolone. Sharp cheddar is usually too bitter for kids. We keep cheese slices at home, and just tore them into pieces to use on the pizza.
***I used butternut squash. The least fussy way to:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the butternut squash in half, at the equator, where it starts to bulge out (it's like cutting of the head of the squash!). You'll have a roundish piece, and a straight-ish piece.
Cut both of those in half, top to bottom. You'll have 4 pieces.
Remove the seeds.
Brush each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Put open side up on a baking sheet.
Bake about 45 minutes to an hour until super soft (there will be some dark browning at the edges, which is fine). Then you can just scoop out the flesh. You won't use at all for the pizza, but some good mashed squash goes well with thanksgiving or any meal.
OR buy pre-cut and peeled squash, coat with oil and a little salt, and roast at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, turning once with a metal spatula halfway through.