Worknight Dinner Recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash & Gorgonzola Pizza

by Maris Callahan on September 7, 2009

Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza

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

Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza

Serves: 4 side dish servings

Ingredients

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

Directions:

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!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin September 8, 2009 at 2:04 am

Oh yum. Yum yum yum. (Crap, I was trying to NOT always use the word “yum” when commenting.) This looks AMAZING!

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Daryl Callahan September 8, 2009 at 7:01 am

Huge hit is an understatement. It was beyond fantastic.

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VeggieGirl September 8, 2009 at 8:32 am

Love the memories shared in this post, and the acorn squash pizza topping – too fun!

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kat September 8, 2009 at 9:56 am

Oh what a great pizza

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beyond September 8, 2009 at 10:33 am

it looks great!
i’m just not quite ready for autumnal acorn squash yet… the farmer’s market is still overflowing with sweet tomatoes, basil and zucchini.

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elra September 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Scrumptious and colorful meal. I like that!

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Jenn@slim-shoppin September 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I think some of my favorite meals are from my child hood.
As a special treat my Mom would make “open faced sammy’s” Basically, it was bread, topped with bacon and mozarella cheese and baked in the oven.
My dad was a chef, so I remember him making things for his classes at school. He made crepes, homemade danishes, with all different kinds of fruit fillings.
As a grown up, I have enjoyed trying to make new things. I was so excited when I made my first loaf of bread, and I have mastered my sisters pizza dough and now make home made pizzas all the time!
I love the recipe you posted, it looks amazing!

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grace September 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm

roasted, brown sugary squash is something i can eat completely by itself, but tossing it onto a pizza is a great idea!

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Kristen September 8, 2009 at 1:37 pm

What a neat post, Maris. Food invokes so many strong memories… some good, some bad, but I can almost always reember an event by the food that was at it.

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Daryl September 8, 2009 at 8:26 pm

As a child our standard celebration meal was made by my mother–baked clams and veal marsala. We got to request what we wanted on our birthdays and somehow everyone chose that!

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Melissa September 8, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Great Topic!
as a kid we had “McDonalds Night” – which meant my Mom would make burgers and fries (and a veggie) and my Dad would throw some chocolate syrup into the gallon of milk and “shake it up”. This simple meal was turned into tons of fun and was way better for us than a trip thru the drive thru.

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Cate O'Malley September 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm

You had me at gorgonzola!

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Juliana September 9, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Yummie, nice pizza and thanks for sharing your memories :-)

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Amber September 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I’m all for the unconventional pizza. Looks like a winner!

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Christina September 9, 2009 at 6:20 pm

That pizza sounds amazing. I’m definitely bookmarking the recipe – I’m always looking for new ways to eat acorn squash!
My most memorable meals that were the breakfasts my Dad used to make me. Most mornings when I was younger there was either yummy pancakes, french toast, or waffles waiting for me when I awoke.

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Rachel September 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Wow! This sounds great! I have so many good food memories. The most recent was a back to school dinner in honor of the kids. Deviled eggs, chicken satays, zucchinni, melon, and angel food cake with berries and cream for dessert. Thanks for sharing your memories!

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Sarah September 16, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Wow! I made this for dinner last night and devoured it. As did my guests. I managed to save two slices for my lunch today. I will be making this again VERY soon.

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