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Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Grilled Pizza

La Petite Maison Verte: Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Grilled Pizza

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Grilled Pizza

After our first successful attempt at grilled pizza we couldn't wait long before trying it again.

It's just so convenient to use the grill and I prefer to avoid heating up our entire house by turning the oven up to 500 degrees.  I love our gas stove but hot damn if it doesn't turn the house into a sauna any time I use it.

We used a ball of refrigerated Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough that Brian rolled out and cut into two half-moons so we could each top our own as we liked.  Why he didn't just cut it first, then roll it into two round pizzas, I'll never understand (Love you, Brian!)

His was similar to our last grilled pizza:  spread with pesto and topped with cooked chicken and mozzarella cheese.  This time he left off the sliced tomatoes and added some sliced red onions and chopped baby spinach.  I had a bite, it was delicious!

I decided to go vegetarian with mine so I roasted some cubed butternut squash in the oven at 425 degrees with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until it was caramelized and fully cooked.  I also caramelized about 1/3 of a sweet yellow onion in a little olive oil and let it cook on medium for a good 30 minutes until soft and brown, then I added about a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and just let the onions pick up all that flavor.

I also topped mine with a few handfuls of sauteed kale that I wilted down in a little garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil, about 1-2 ounces of goat cheese and a small sprinkling of shredded fresh mozzarella cheese.  

Toppings, clockwise from top left:  goat cheese, wilted kale, roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions, garlic-infused olive oil.
It was amazing.  Even my meat-lover husband thought it was phenomenal.

A few helpful pointers:

Make sure you brush the crust with olive oil so it doesn't stick to the grill grates!  Brush the first side, then place that side DOWN on the grill.  Once it's cooking on the first side, brush the second side with olive oil.  Flip the crust over onto the second side, and then top your pizza.

If my description is confusing, check The Kitchn's helpful guide to grilling pizza.

Brush the olive oil onto the second side while the first side grills.

Once the pizzas are topped, then close the lid so the cheese gets nice and melty.

Serve it up with a nice side salad and a glass of Pinot Noir.

Or Chardonnay, that would also be lovely.

Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash, Kale and Goat Cheese Grilled Pizza
makes 1 large pizza, enough to serve 4

2 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash (1'' cubes)
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 cups kale, chopped
1 lb pizza dough
3 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil, divided
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

Prepare the roasted squash:  Toss squash pieces with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, turning once or twice, until cooked and edges are caramelized.  Set aside until ready to assemble pizza. 

Prepare the caramelized onions:  Melt 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the butter in a skillet over medium heat, then add the sliced onions and cook 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized.  Season onions with a little salt and pepper, then add the thyme and the balsamic vinegar and stir, cook 2-3 more minutes, then remove from heat and set aside until ready to assemble the pizza.

Prepare the kale:  Place chopped kale into a small saucepan with 1 tablespoon of the garlic-infused olive oil over medium heat, toss well to coat.  Cover pot with the lid and wilt the kale for about 5-7 minutes, removing the lid to stir occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside until ready to assemble pizza.   

Preheat grill to 500-600 degrees or as hot as your grill allows, allow about 20-30 minutes for the grill to heat up.  Meanwhile, prepare pizza toppings as described above and allow pizza dough to sit at room temperature about 20-30 minutes before attempting to work with it.  

Roll or press out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick and shape as you wish (round, square, etc.).  Brush the surface of a rimless baking sheet with about 1- 1/2 tablespoons of the garlic-infused olive oil.  Transfer the pizza dough onto the oiled baking sheet (this is to coat one side of the pizza dough with oil).  

Once the grill is pre-heated, slide the pizza dough off of the rimless baking sheet directly onto the grill grates (the oiled side should be in contact with the grill grates).  With the lid of the grill open, allow the bottom side of the pizza dough to cook approximately 3 minutes, checking after 2 minutes to make sure it's not burning.  Meanwhile, brush the top side of the pizza dough with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic-infused olive oil.  

Once the bottom of the pizza is grilled, flip the pizza onto the other side.  For this step you can use tongs, a spatula or slide the pizza onto the rimless baking sheet in order to flip it over.  Immediately and quickly add your pizza toppings, distributing them evenly across the surface of the pizza.  Close the grill lid and allow pizza to cook 5-8 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown, making sure not to allow the bottom of the pizza to burn.  Serve pizza hot.  


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At March 12, 2012 at 2:25 PM , Anonymous -Colleen & Ben said...

This looks phenomenal!! I will have to make this :)YUMMMMM

At March 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM , Anonymous Jules said...

You MUST. No way around it.


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