My my how things change.
I am constantly in awe of how much growing up and being an adult stinks, but sometimes I fail to realize the fun part about it. Like eating tons of delicious food. Duh.
And these thoughts play a huge part when I go away on a trip or vacation. I constantly think about how to bridge the gap between what I used to do and what I have to do now. Or what I used to want and what I want now.
It’s seriously funny.
Like back when I was ten years old and dreamed about having a boyfriend just so I could have someone to stand next to me and awkwardly place our hands in each others’ back jean pockets. Can we all give a giant collective sigh and say thank goodness that phase is over? What did that even mean? How was it EVER comfortable? I definitely missed the boat and was just a few years shy of participating in this habit, but I clearly remember wistfully staring at super cool couples walking through the mall or an amusement park or into the movies with – not their arms around each other, but – their hands in each other’s back pockets.
They are some trends that I’m all for keeping (like flare legged jeans, don’t hate) but if this ever comes back, I’ll start the petition. Ugh. I don’t even know what the modern equivalent of this back-pocket jeans lovin’ is today, but I’m sure it has something to do with a plugin, an app and Facebook. And an inappropriate camera phone.
But yeah, so I did a lot of day dreaming on vacation back then. Okay, whatever… I still do, but back then it was pretty much ALL I did. I’d read like three or four Sweet Valley High books (after I graduated from Babysitter’s Club and Goosebumps, obviously) and write stories and make up songs and spend most of my time wishing I was old enough to do fun things, like go to shady clubs which I would never venture into today… or ever. Why are parents so smart?
My brothers and cousins and I also spent a good chunk of time pleading for our parents to allow us to go to the boardwalk at night – alone, what have you – which was never permitted for fear that we’d be kidnapped or murdered or simply overdose on funnel cakes and glow stick necklaces. We also created a game called “green scum,” which had nothing to do with anything except for the fact that we were chewing green gum when we made up the name, and this was basically “tag” on crack. We would play after we showered, and as you can imagine, our parents were just thrilled that we played a game of tag – constantly running around for at least an hour – after we had cleaned up and put on nice clothes. The only thing I really cared about then was eating some fried clams, but now…
…vacation is all about the food. I mean ALL. Like it’s basically an excuse to just go into unfamiliar territory and try a bunch of restaurants recommended by
invisible internet friends, and it doesn’t even matter if you order every dessert on the menu only to take a bite or two. Because you HAVE to try it all! It’s not like you’ll be back any time soon. Hear me?
I thought so.
And that’s what happened last week. Well, not the dessert part unfortunately. But.
I had this pizza… this pizza with squash and nutmeg and the most incredible sage pesto. Sage freaking pesto! If you have been hanging out with me for a few months, you might remember that I developed a serious addiction to sage last year. So I’m happy to tell you that the minute I got home… okay, the hour… the hour I got home, I made this pizza. The flavors are unbelievable and the name – harvest pizza – could not be more spot on. It’s like a big plate of autumn. And even though I may be a few days short according to the calendar, I couldn’t help but share. First, because I’m selfish and totally needed this immediately and second, because I (and you!) should make it a million times this upcoming season.
Just wanted to prepare you.
1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
2/3 cup fresh sage leaves, torn
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups tiny-cubed butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
6 thin slices prosciutto, torn
4 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
8 ounces goat cheese, sliced and crumbled
Prepare pizza dough and let rise. (I used my garlic bread pizza crust, omitted the garlic and herbs, and used 50% whole wheat flour.)
While dough is rising, combine sage, pine nuts and finely grated parmesan cheese in a food processor and blend until combined. Stream in olive oil and blend until a pesto forms. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet oven medium heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Toss in butternut squash cubes, along with salt, pepper and nutmeg, tossing to coat. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes, stir, then let cook for 5-10 minutes more, just so the cubes are softened but not complete mush. Set aside. In the same skillet, add another 1/2 tablespoon of butter and onions with a pinch of salt. Cover and let caramelize for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the onions are finished, I removed them from the skillet and actually tossed in my prosciutto over low heat, stirring occasionally with a fork. This isn'y necessary but I loved how it helped crisp up the meat.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Once dough has risen and you are ready to assemble pizza, spread 2-3 tablespoons of pesto all over dough. I suggest using a very thin layer unless you LOVE sage. Top with half of the grated parm, then spread butternut squash on evenly. Add the onions on next. Top with torn prosciutto pieces, then strategically place goat cheese over the pizza. Sprinkle with remaining parm. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Eat!
[inspired by a pizza from lucky bones]
And no I will not stick my hands in your back pockets.