Squash, Leek & Bacon Pizza with Crispy Sage
There are five pizza places on my rotation. Two are slice joints, while three serve pies. Three have hipster in the atmosphere, while two are geared to Park Slopers with families. One almost always has a wait. It makes sense to go out for charcoal-kissed or quintessential New York-style pizza pies when you have a neighborhood checklist of this caliber. And yet, more and more frequently, homemade pizza is appearing on our table.
Here are the reasons, some of them obvious. It’s fun to make your own crust. It’s fun to not make crust at all and grab a ready-made and perfectly charred Stonefire crust from the freezer (hello, very fast weeknight dinner). Planning, prepping, and matching toppings is an exercise in creativity. Grabbing sage from the upstairs garden makes you feel like a fully realized adult food lover. Actually, I think that those moment when you make a beloved tradition your own is one of those key adult moments, where you look at dinner and think, “this was all me.”
Here, I started out with two traditions: first, pizza baking, and second, eating seasonally (that is, feasting forever on squash with bacon and sage). This time of year, I often crave food counter to what’s traditional–not just mashed potatoes, but also a spicy bowl of ramen. That ends up working out. Though Thursday is a day of supreme traditions, and Friday is a day of leftover traditions, the days around Thanksgiving, including “Thanksgiving Eve,” are wide open for new approaches to seasonal cooking.
This pizza is one of them. It picks up on fall flavors and ingredients and turns them into a fresh take on my neighborhood favorite–pizza. In my book, this is a very good reason to stay in one of these nights before or after Thanksgiving, and cook up a pizza party that brings squash, bacon, and leeks to the table.
This post was sponsored by Stonefire. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep Big Girls, Small Kitchen delicious!
- Olive oil
- 1 large leek, washed well, white part and light green part, cut in half and finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons wine
- 2 tablespoons water or stock
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 small delicata squash, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and seeds scooped out (no need to peel it)
- ½ cup fresh mozzarella in small pieces (a little less than ¼ cup)
- 2 slices cooked bacon, cut into one-inch pieces
- 10 sage leaves
- 1 Stonefire artisan pizza crust
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat in a lidded sauté pan or Dutch oven. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the leeks, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent. Add the wine and the water or stock, then turn the flame down to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes stirring occasionally, until the leeks are completely soft and beginning to turn to mush. Take the lid off and cook uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 more minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and set aside. You can do this in advance.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut each half of the delicate into very thin slices - about ¼ inch. Place in a bowl and toss with about 1 tablespoon of oil and a few pinches of salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until squash is cooked - it's okay if edges get a little brown, but you don't want to make squash chips. Leave the oven on.
- Put the crust on an oiled baking sheet. Spread the leek pizza on the crust, leaving about ½-inch along the edge. Cover the leeks with the cooked squash, arranging them in rows. Scatter the pieces of mozzarella and bacon. In a small bowl, combine the sage leaves with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Toss to coat, then scatter the sage leaves on to.
- Place the baking sheet on a baking stone if you have one - otherwise, just put it in the oven. Bake fro 12 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and sizzling. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle on the parm. Drizzle on a little more oil and sprinkle with salt. Rest for a few minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.