Butternut squash goes well with soups and mains, something that vegans and even non-vegans have come to live. But it can also be a good primary ingredient in making awesome vegan pizza. Let’s see how butternut squash can make turn our favorite pizza into one sumptuous crusty delight.
Vegan Pizza: Butternut Squash and Almond Ricotta Pizza
For the Crust:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tbsp quick-rise yeast
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 clove of minced garlic
For the Ricotta:
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 ½ cups of raw almonds
- 1 tsp sea salt
For the Toppings:
- 1 thinly sliced small white onion
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 ½ tsp olive oil
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups of arugula
- Balsamic vinegar
How to Make It:
- To make the dough, whisk 1/3 cup of warm water with yeast and sugar. Let it sit for about 4 to 5 minutes or until it looks foamy and bubbly.
- While you wait, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, and salt. Mix the remaining water with olive oil. Then, put in the yeast into the water and olive oil mixture and combine well.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the flour. Add garlic and then mix with a mixer on slow speed until it forms a ball.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and roll it into one solid ball in a greased bowl. Cover it with towel and place in a warm spot and let it rise for 30 minutes. Remove towel and dough should be more than twice its original size. Punch it in the middle and knead with hands for 15 seconds and roll into a ball again. Place it in the mixing bowl, cover with towel again and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
- As for the squash, you may start preheating the oven to 385F. Remove the seeds and quarter the squash. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the squash and drizzle some olive oil. Then, wrap it in foil and bake for 45 minutes. Afterward, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Once cool, slice the squash into ¼ to half an inch slice.
- In making the almond ricotta, blanch almonds in boiling water for about a minute. Drain them and then put them in a bowl filled with water. Let the almonds sit overnight, after which they will be drained, rinsed, and removed of their skins by pinching each almond hard.
- Using a high powered blender, put in the almonds with a cup of hot water and a teaspoon of salt. Blitz for about 2 minutes or until almond turns into thick and fluffy cheese. Then, remove excess water out of the cheese – using a bowl, cheesecloth and a super fine strainer.
- To make the actual pizza, preheat oven to 450F. Then, spread a handful of flour and cornmeal on a baking sheet and split the dough in half. Pat one half into a disc. Roll it out into a 12-inch circle.
- Brush olive oil on top of the crust and put some sea salt over it. Then, spread ricotta on the crust and add squash slices, cranberries, and onions. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve and enjoy your vegan pizza!