The thin base of the pizza is nice and olive oily with super crisp edges. It makes a superb vehicle for the butternut squash, which becomes ultra sweet and slightly charred when roasted. Married with salty, nutty gruyere, soft roasted onions and delicate, earthy sage, the squash topping elegantly embodies the flavors of fall.
Prep the Squash
Peel, halve, and remove seeds from the squash. Cut the seeded halves lengthwise (you will now have four pieces), then cut the quarters in half crosswise. Thinly slice (about 1/8 inch thick) the squash pieces.
Soak the Squash (optional)
Julio likes to soak the sliced squash in cold, salted water overnight to season and soften it. If you choose to omit this step, it wouldn't drastically change the end result (and you wouldn't have to start your pizza prep a day in advance).
If you do decide to soak the squash slices in salt water, drain them in a colander before moving onto the next step.
Mix it Up
Roughly chop the sage leaves and shred the gruyère. Put the squash slices into a big bowl and toss them with the sage, gruyère, largely diced onion, a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
If you don't soak the squash overnight in salted water, season it with salt before adding it to the mixture.
Head baker Julio Guaracha brushes a half sheet pan (13"x17") with olive oil before stretching the dough and placing it into the pan.
Give It a Little Squash
After placing the dough in the pan, arrange the squash topping over the dough. Pile the squash on the dough and compact it a bit (it will cook down). Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the squash.
What a Beaut
This is what the pizza looks like before going into the oven. Gorgeous, right?
Into the Oven
Bake the pizza in a 480 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and the squash is tender.
The Finished Pie
The finished pie in all it's perfectly charred, autumnal glory.