Fall Pizza

When I’m creating recipes, I’m incredibly inspired by the seasons. I enjoy cooking with produce that is at its peak because it tastes better and is more affordable. I love to page through cookbooks that are sorted by season and see how other chefs are influenced by the earth’s changes. Next week we officially kick into winter, so I have to share the recipe for my pizza that highlights fall’s flavors before it’s too late!

This savory pie is topped with roasted squash, caramelized onions, and sautéed kale. Serve with mixed greens and a glass of fruity red wine and you’ve got an easy, but scrumptious dinner. Of course, this pizza doesn’t have to be only eaten in the fall, it will also be amazing in winter as the main ingredients are still in season.

I normally make pizza on weeknights and therefore always use dough that I’ve picked up from the market. Sometimes store bought dough can be too elastic at first, so give it a few kneads before rolling it out. Although I don’t have a pizza stone or special pizza oven, I’ve found you can make a deliciously crisp pizza crust by rolling the dough as thinly as possible and placing it on a baking sheet that’s been preheating with the oven at 500°F.

Fall Pizza

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
5 large leaves of dinosaur kale, stems removed and discarded, chopped into 1-inch chunks
Freshly grated nutmeg, optional
Red pepper flakes, optional
1 store bought pizza dough
2 cups grated fontina cheese
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 cup roasted squash with sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Oil a large cookie sheet and place in the oven.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is browned and starting to crisp, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the onion is just beginning to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add the kale in handfuls and stir into the onion and pancetta mixture until it’s just wilted, but still nice and green, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and season generously with freshly grated nutmeg and red pepper flakes, if desired.
  5. Meanwhile, roll out the pizza dough to be a large square that will fit inside the cookie sheet.
  6. With a pot holder, remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Working quickly, place the rolled-out pizza dough on top of the pan. It will start to sizzle; this is okay.
  7. Sprinkle the fontina and goat cheese evenly over the top of the dough. Top with the roasted sage and the onion, pancetta, and kale mixture being careful to evenly distribute all of the vegetables. You want each bite to have some of the goodies.
  8. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle the parmesan evenly over the top of the pizza.
  9. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the dough is crispy, the cheese is melted and starting to brown, and the vegetables are caramelized. Transfer to a cutting board or serving platter. Let rest for a minute before cutting, then enjoy immediately.

Makes 1 pizza.

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