In my twenty-five years, I’ve eaten a lot of meals. In my family a lot of our celebrations have revolved around meals: birthday dinners ending with flourless chocolate cake, Mother’s Day breakfast with spinach & artichoke fritatta, graduation parties with hors d’oeurves like baked brie en croute.
Lost in a world of food-blog browsing earlier today I stumbled upon an old post on Slashfood about recalling your most memorable meal.
I spend a lot of time thinking about food. Creating recipes in my head, styling plates as I pull hot baking dishes from the oven with the aid of my thick blue oven mitts. Yet, among the good, the bad and the bittersweet, not one meal stands out to me as my single most memorable.
I remember the pizza that I ate with my family on my tenth birthday when I had a sinus infection and we stayed in to watch movies. I remember one night when I’d first moved to Hoboken three years ago and had nothing to do on Friday night so I walked around the corner, feeling independent and self-assured, for take-out sushi. I ate miso soup and two California rolls watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy. There was also the first time my father took me to dinner after he and my mother divorced. We ate at Del Posto and he had three glasses of wine, the most I’d ever seen him drink. Thanksgiving dinners are memorable, as are the dinners that I’ve cooked for dates.
This past week, I added to the list of memorable meals, not so much due to the circumstance (although they were lovely) so much as the food itself. As a lover of Fall flavors, when I saw the recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza on Smitten Kitchen I knew right away that I needed to make it to ring in September.
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentis, this is not your traditional pizza but hits all the right flavors – sweet, spicy, salty and rich – all topped with fresh, peppery arugula to abate the typical pizza-guilt. I tweaked the recipe only slightly, made it for my family and it was a huge hit.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza
Serves: 4 side dish servings
1 (1- pound) acorn squash
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 pound pizza dough (you can make your own or buy one from the grocery store)
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1-2 cup arugula (I used a little more than the 1 cup that the initial recipe called for)
Squeeze of lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Slice the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide half moons and place in a medium bowl. Toss the squash with the syrup, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (NOTE: I skipped the red pepper flakes and the maple syrup. Instead, I whisked 1/4 cup of light brown sugar with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brushed the mixture over the squash before roasting). Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the squash until tender and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Keep the temperature on the oven at 375 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough on a flour dusted piece of parchment paper to a 13-inch diameter. Place the pizza and the parchment paper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and the Gorgonzola on the pizza dough. Bake in the oven until golden and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Peel the skins off the squash. Top the cooked pizza with the cooked squash. Toss with arugula with the squeeze of lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Slice and serve.
I’d love to hear about your most memorable meals. Do you have one? Do you have ten?Share them in the comments section here!