We are entering that enchanting time of the year. You know what I am talking about; the days feel shorter, the number of items on your to-do list far exceed your energy, distractions pull you away at every opportunity, bright lights fill your eyes, and fatigue is around each corner.
That’s right, it’s finals.
Oh the plight of [graduate] school, it’s not enough to write the papers and attend classes, but you actually have to demonstrate that you have learned something by taking a final exam.
Here’s what I have learned, I love comfort food during this time of the year.
Tonight I made a rustic squash pizza. This is again going to be a narrative, so those readers who prefer recipes, I apologize ahead of time, but I should be studying [not blogging].
First, I made a pizza crust today with my homemade yeast (yes, I promise to blog about this soon!). If you don’t have homemade yeast, or a good pizza dough recipe in your back pocket there are a ton you can find easily online, in this cookbook, or you can buy some at your local pizzeria or grocery store (I know Whole Foods has a good whole wheat variety you can buy). My crust included honey, kosher salt, olive oil, yeast, water and flour. It had two risings before I rolled it out to let it rise one more time (I was studying in the meantime, see?)
I peeled and chopped a delicata squash (you could use any squash, I think acorn could be really good too) into small pieces (about 1/2″), tossed with olive oil and roasted for ~20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, stirring a few times. In the meantime, I began caramelizing onions. If you don’t know how to do this, check out this site, it includes a video. I let the squash cool and chopped 1/2 of a package of mushrooms leftover from the creamy mushroom soup and added them to the squash. I added the finished onions to the other veggies and tossed with 1/2 t dried thyme, a dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper.
I put all the veggies in the middle of the pizza dough, leaving a large border around the outside. I covered the veggies with grated Gruyere and Parmesan cheese. Next, I added a few dollops of ricotta cheese. I folded the dough over the veggies and brushed the outside with olive oil.
I slide this onto my pizza stone in a 500 degree oven. I also threw a few ice cubes in the oven, to build up steam. It baked for 15-20 minutes. I just monitored it carefully, unfortunately not carefully enough, it got a little too brown in a few spots (I was studying, that’s why!).
Too brown or not, it was totally delicious. I have decided that sweet and savory flavors have been the most enjoyable to me recently. The salty cheese played off the sweet squash and onions well, also. Delicious, comforting dinner.
Ahhh, now I can study. After I clean the kitchen.