This roasted acorn squash and apple pizza is fall in a slice, complete with gruyere cheese and peppery arugula.
Every year around this time, I swear that I won't jump on the pumpkin bandwagon the day after Labor Day . . . yet every year, no matter how sarcastic I want to be about it . . . fall always wins. Yes, we've still got a few more weeks to go until the season is officially here. And yes, I'll definitely lament vine-ripened tomatoes and peaches as soon as they disappear from farmers' market displays. But when that little chill returns to the morning air and the humidity tapers off, giving me a taste of what's to come, all I can think of is the smell of winter squash roasting in the oven.
For this week's pizza, I set aside one of the heirloom sweet potato squashes that I'd just picked from the garden and headed to the Farmstand for a couple of apples. A creamy, nutty Alpine cheese seemed like the perfect complement to these autumnal flavors, so while I was at the 'stand I also picked up a hunk of Allegheny, made by Hidden Hills Dairy, as well as a bag of baby arugula to liven things up a bit.
Acorn Squash and Apple Pizza
- large rimmed baking sheet
- pastry brush
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- 1 acorn squash, quartered, seeded, and cut into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- 2 small (or 1 large) apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 to 6 ounces Gruyere or Appenzeller cheese, shredded
- 1 to 2 handfuls baby arugula
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. If you're using a baking stone/steel to bake your pizza, place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating).
- Place the squash slices on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the tablespoon of olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and toss well to coat with the oil. Roast the squash for 25 minutes, then flip the slices and roast for another 10 minutes or until the squash is caramelized and very tender. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it aside to cool.
- Increase the oven temperature to 500°F (if using a baking sheet to bake your pizza) or the highest temperature your oven will allow (if using a baking stone/steel). If you're using a baking stone or steel, once the oven has reached its highest temperature, switch the oven setting to Broil on high and let it heat up for about 15 minutes.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Brush the dough lightly with olive oil, making sure to get all the way to the edges. First arrange the apples in a pretty pattern, then add the squash. Sprinkle on the cheese and season the pizza with salt and pepper.
- 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 and let it rest for 5 minutes, then sprinkle on the arugula and give the pizza a light drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt; slice and serve.