By Mark Mulcahy
One sure-fire way to show someone you care is to cook for him or her. I know it sounds simple, but it really is true. The other night I got inspired to make dinner for my sweetie and decided to try a new twist on an old favorite - homemade pizza.
I was thinking of all the wonderful organic winter produce Melissa’s offers these days, and decided to reinvent our pizza from the crust up - literally! I started with a corn crust, and was glad I did. I’ve included a recipe from a blog I found - see below - and the results were fantastic! Then I thought about what I could use instead of the typical sauce options I often choose, like pesto and red sauce. Before I knew it, my produce-focused brain started churning out a whole winter delight! First, I decided to bake an Organic Delicata Squash
to use as my base. (You can choose just about any winter squash and it would be yummy - but knowing the flavor of your squash is important, as it will affect the other ingredients you choose.)
I decided to make 2 different pizzas that night. Both started with the corn crust, brushed with organic olive oil and a little salt and pepper, and then topped with baked squash spread in a generous layer. On the first pizza I added grated asiago cheese, caramelized Organic Yellow Onion
, wilted Organic Spinach
, grated Parmesan, and minced cooked bacon. The second one I topped with the same asiago, caramelized onion, spinach, and Parmesan - but I swapped out the bacon for sautéed Organic Crimini Mushrooms, and sautéed Red and Yellow Bell Pepper
They both were tremendous! Such a nice combination of winter flavors - savory, rich, warming, and delectable! Mmmm, mmmm! I even received kudos for the next couple of days as she made snacks and dinners from the leftovers. So don't wait - grab some hearty winter produce, throw in some imagination, and make someone you love happy. The memories will last long after the meal has faded.
For both pizzas you’ll need the following ingredients.
1 Organic Delicata Squash
1 pound Organic Crimini Mushrooms
1 each Red and Yellow Bell Pepper
2 medium Organic Yellow Onion
10 ounces of Organic Baby Spinach
1 pound Organic Bacon
Recipe found at Cornmeal Pizza Dough Recipe
¾ cup Warm Water
2¼ teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
½ Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoon Oive Oil
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
½ cups Cornmeal
1 teaspoon Salt
Proof your yeast in a measuring cup with warm water and sugar. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Add olive oil.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, mix together salt, cornmeal and flour. With mixer running on low, add liquid ingredients. Mix until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Add additional flour a spoonful at a time as needed until dough is no longer sticky.
Shape into a smooth ball. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow rising in a warm location until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Shape dough into desired shape on a lightly greased baking sheet. Add desired toppings and bake for 12-15 minutes. Slice and serve warm.