“Thanksgiving” Pizza

In American, Beans, Fruit, Italian, Pizza, Vegetables on November 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

When I told Nick I was going to make a Thanksgiving pizza, he was really excited.  I saw this recipe on The Kind Life website (the companion site to The Kind Diet book), and it looked so yummy!  I sent him the link, and he said “it looks good, but it is not very Thanksgiving – there’s no turkey, or mashed potatoes, or stuffing.”  Silly rabbit!  I explained it was from a vegan site, so people who eat that way won’t be eating a traditional turkey dinner anyway.  He was still confused.  Then I explained it could be an appetizer for the meal.  Even more confusing, because shouldn’t a pizza have sauce and/or cheese?  I gave up trying to rationalize and told him not to worry, it would be yummy!

The original recipe included a dough recipe.  Like I’ve mentioned in other posts, I suck at baking and bread-making.  Luckily, I had bought whole wheat pizza dough from TJs a while back.  I love their dough because 1) it uses only whole wheat flour (other brands are a mix of whole and white) and 2) it is only 99 cents.  When it’s just the two of us, I only use half the dough and freeze the rest (because honestly, we don’t need to eat a whole pie of pizza).  I took out some reserved dough from the freezer and while still in the plastic let it defrost in a bowl of water.

Earlier that morning, I had put some white navy beans in a bowl to soak.  I wasn’t sure at that point what I’d be making, but I figured it was a pretty versatile little bean.  It also cooks much quicker because it’s so small!  Luckily this pizza recipe required a white bean puree, so it definitely fit the bill.

When it was time to start dinner, I drained and rinsed the beans, put in a pot with water to cover, added two bay leaves, and you know the rest of the deal.  In case you need a refresher, read this post.

The pizza toppings in the original recipe were butternut squash, caramelized onion, spinach, and apples.  I changed the last two to kale and pears, respectively, because that’s what I had on hand.  I peeled the squash first.

This particular squash was harder than usual to peel because of the uneven shape.  When I picked it out, I was looking for the most dense one available, because its flesh will be the brightest and sweetest.  My instincts did not disappoint.

I only needed about a cup for this recipe, but I knew I’d be using the rest for a Thanksgiving dish.  Since I was chopping anyway I attacked the whole squash and saved the rest for later.

I roasted the 1 cup’s worth with some EVOO.

While that was working, I prepared the onions.  I cut a small onion in half, and then each half into thin crescent slices.

I sauteed the onion with some EVOO on medium-high heat for about 25 minutes.  When it was finished, it looked like this.

While both the onions and squash cooked, I chopped up the kale and sliced the pears.

Afterwards, I made the bean puree.  I decided not to use the food processor and just mash everything up.  I drained the cooked beans of excess water, and then only used a cup’s worth for the puree.  I also used a microplane for the garlic so that there weren’t any big chunks.

I mashed everything up, first with a potato masher, and then just the back of a spoon.

When the squash was done roasting, it was time to pull it out and assemble the pizza!

I took the defrosted dough out of the bag.  It was a lil wet, so I squeezed excess moisture out with a paper towel.  Then, on a greased baking sheet, I started to spread out the dough as thin as possible without leaving any holes.  You really have to work the dough a lot to get it that way, just keep pressing with your fingers for 4 or 5 minutes.

I topped the dough with the bean puree.  It reminded me of a thick bechamel sauce.

Then I arranged the pear slices.  I always try to evenly distribute all toppings!  OCD anyone?

I spread out the squash next.  So bright and cheerful!

Then I scattered the kale.  Chopping it up into fine pieces allows for the greatest surface area coverage.  OMG, loving the purple hues!  I also noticed that all the secondary colors are represented in this pizza!

The finishing touch was the caramelized onion.  I think sandpaper would taste good with caramelized onion.

I baked the pizza at 375 for 20 minutes.  When it was done, it looked like this.

I cut the pie into 4 big slices.  I only ate a half slice though, because I was so hungry while preparing that I ate 10 too many chips with salsa.

When Nick took his first bite, he turned his head away.  I thought maybe he chipped a tooth.  He told me he didn’t want me to analyze his reaction, so he turned away.  I wasn’t sure if I should be mad or happy he was so considerate to not hurt my feelings.  He said he actually really liked it.  His only critique was that he wasn’t a fan of the pears and would prefer it fruitless.  He also added that to hit it out of the park next time I should add some goat cheese.  Maybe next time 🙂

I would definitely make this for a Thanksgiving appetizer if I were hosting.  It’s kind of hard to prepare in advance and throw right in the oven before the meal without getting in the host(ess)’s way.  Maybe next year everyone will crowd into my cramped Brooklyn apartment?

A girl can dream.

What are some Thanksgiving appetizers you’ve made?

  1. […] I had cut up all the butternut squash the night before, because I was using some for the Thanksgiving pizza the other night.  I had stored the remainder in a tupperware, and I chopped up some apples and diced some […]

  2. […] squash as a sub.  I did have some white beans in the freezer (leftovers from making beans for the Thanksgiving Pizza), but no chickpeas.  Either way, I was confident that soup would be molto […]

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