As fall approaches, the trees here in Boulder turn yellow. I wish I had some sort of fancy scientific explanation for it, but all I’ve got is that they turn this bright, fiery yellow, not red or orange. I know aspen trees turn yellow, but… all trees turn yellow in Colorado? No, not all of them turn yellow? Yes, I really am making all of this up? Oh, looky there. There’s a tree turning red out in the park next to our house. Well, that was a waste of a paragraph. On with the show.
As the temperatures turn cooler, my hankering for hot, crusty, bready things grows exponentially. There have been several days during the past week when I’ve eaten bread at every meal: an English muffin for breakfast, soup, salad, and a baguette for lunch, pizza for dinner. Take that, Zone Diet!
One such meal was inspired by a recipe from Cooking Light magazine (which, by the way, I bought off the newsstand and paid an exorbitant five bucks for. Five bucks for a magazine? You’ve got to be kidding me). Cooking Light joined the bread-a-licious bandwagon and had an entire spread on weeknight pizzas. One that caught my eye was an apple pizza with goat cheese and thyme: I had some apples in the fridge and a little goat cheese from an earlier recipe, and had dinner ready right as Hubs got home from work. After spending the better part of ten minutes convincing him that he wasn’t going to barf or die from eating apples on his pizza, we both tucked in and were pleasantly surprised by the array of flavors and textures. As we ate, we brainstormed over what else would be good on an autumn-themed pizza, and voila, the recipe was born.
An unusual ingredient – one which I don’t often use or condone, really – is canned dough. I’ve often thought that canned dough was high in fat and corn syrup, but I recently found one in the refrigerated section that’s full of stuff I can actually pronounce. It seemed harmless enough, and it 1) saved me some serious time and 2) saved me from going to Whole Foods, losing every ounce of self-control, and buying one of everything in the store.
I love how this is still a good and proper pizza, even without the use of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. As always, omit and add things as you like and design it to suit your taste buds; I made this recently some vegetarian friends of ours, and simply omitted the bacon and used olive oil, instead. No harm done, and still a delicious meal.
So, whatever color the trees are in your town, know that fall has arrived and it’s time to cook for the season. Enjoy!
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4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled, fat reserved
1 small squash, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tube refrigerated pizza dough or French bread dough
Flour for dusting
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. pecans, toasted & chopped
2 c. arugula
For the dressing:
1 tsp. Dijon or grainy mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbs. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Cook the bacon over medium-low heat and reserve the fat. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel to drain, and crumble when it’s cool.
In the reserved bacon fat, cook the sliced squash and onion over medium-low heat until the squash are beginning to brown and the onions are beginning to caramelize, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Open the tube of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface, until it’s rectangular in shape and about 1/4″ thick. Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil over the top of the dough and spread it with your fingers. Arrange the cooked squash and onion on top of the dough, and sprinkle the chopped thyme over top. Crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle the shredded Parmesan on top, and bake for about 15-18 minutes, until the pizza dough just begins to brown and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, 1 Tbs. olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the arugula in the dressing, and place over top of the hot pizza. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon, dried cranberries and pecans over top of the pizza, slice into quarters, and serve immediately.
* If the above slideshow doesn’t load, you can view all the photos from this recipe on Flickr.
Laura is a regular contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. She was born and raised in Fayetteville, but has recently moved to Boulder, Colorado. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and avid cook. For more from Laura, see her past stories, visit Flyer Foodie on Facebook or check out Prana & Pie.