What should we call that sliver of a season when the last harvests of juicy summer produce overlap with the first earthy-sweet veggies of fall? Sautumn? Fummer? Summer-fall threshold? Whatever the name, that magical time is NOW, and I'm 100% here for it with a tomato and delicata squash pizza that will help you savor the present moment and enjoy the best of both seasons—bite by glorious bite.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” — Buddha
So do yourself a favor. This weekend, hit pause on your Halloween / pumpkin-spice-everything buying spree. Instead, start a batch of pizza dough (either in the morning or the night before), head to your local farmers' market, and buy the prettiest, plumpest heirloom tomatoes you can find, along with some delicata or acorn squash and bunches of basil and rosemary. When you get home, roast the veggies with some sliced shallot and crushed garlic. Muddle the fresh herbs with oil, salt, and pepper to make a quick herb oil, taking a moment to enjoy the comingling aromas of summer basil and autumnal rosemary. Then, assemble the tomato and squash pizza as directed with mozzarella, aged Gouda cheese, and a sprinkling of ground sumac, and revel in the present moment, enjoying this gift of in between.
Roasted Tomato and Delicata Squash Pizza
- 2 medium heirloom tomatoes cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 small delicata or acorn squash halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 1 small shallot sliced
- extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves roughly torn, plus more for garnish
- 1 heaping tablespoon rosemary leaves
- 1 (14 to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella pinched into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon ground sumac
- 1/4 cup grated aged Gouda or Gruyère cheese
To prep the toppings
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (If using a baking stone/steel, place it on a rack in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the tomatoes, squash, garlic, and shallot on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil (just to coat), and season with salt and pepper. Gently turn the vegetables to coat them in the oil, then spread everything out in as even a layer as you can.
- Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes or until the squash and garlic are tender and the tomatoes have begun to brown in spots. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Increase the oven temperature to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel).
- While the roasted tomato-squash mixture cools, make the herb oil: Using a mortar and pestle, grind together the basil, rosemary, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, and a grind or two of black pepper until the herbs are mostly broken up.
To bake the pizza
- If using a baking stone/steel, set your oven to Broil on high.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Brush the herb oil lightly all over the dough, trying not to let it pool up too much in any one spot. Arrange the roasted vegetables in a thin layer on the dough (you might have some veggies left over), then top with the mozzarella. Sprinkle with the ground sumac, followed by the shredded Gouda or Gruyère.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Remove the pizza from the oven. Top with some torn fresh basil leaves; slice and serve.