Homemade pizza is one of my absolute favorite things to make. The process is fun, easy, and completely satisfying. 9 times out of 10 I'm boring and stick with the classic pizza margherita (hands down my all-time fave) but every once in a while it's nice to change things up a bit. This pizza with squash and fontina is the perfect version for fall.
You can really use any type of squash you like but I particularly like the delicata for this since it cooks quickly and the skin becomes tender enough that you can eat it so you don't even need to mess with peeling. Win-win in my book. The fontina has a wonderful ooey-gooey melting quality and the mild nuttiness adds a great depth of flavor. The kale gets deliciously crispy in the oven and adds great texture. And my favorite part: the balsamic glaze. Its the perfect finishing touch, adding just the right amount of tangy sweetness. And truth be told, I pretty much put it on everything.
A quick thought on pizza dough: I've made homemade pizza dough many times and also used store-bought quite a bit and as long as you're using a fresh, high quality store-bought dough, there really isn't much of a difference. I love the fresh pizza dough at Trader Joe's. I usually buy a few at a time and keep them on hand in the freezer. But if you prefer to make your own pizza dough, I won't stand in your way. You do you.
Delicata Squash + Fontina Pizza with Crispy Kale + Balsamic Glaze
8 oz (1/2 lb) fresh pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
1 small delicata squash, thinly sliced in rounds and seeded
salt + pepper to taste
2 T olive oil, divided
1/2 c kale, roughly chopped
1 c fontina cheese, grated
1/4 c parmesan, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes to taste
2 t fresh thyme
1 c balsamic vinegar
MAKE THE GLAZE
In a medium saucepan over low heat, add the balsamic vinegar. Allow to reduce by about a third until it's thick and syrupy and coats the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it as it has a tendency to burn. It should just be barely bubbling. Set aside to cool.
ROAST THE SQUASH
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sliced delicata rounds with 1 T of the olive oil and salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the squash is tender and lightly golden brown. Set aside while you prepare the pizza.
PREPARE THE PIZZA
Increase oven to 450 degrees. If using store-bought dough, make sure to pull it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before using it, allowing it to come to room temperature. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and gently stretch it out with your hands, starting in the center of the dough and working your way out. Once your dough is at the desired thickness, lay on a parchment lined cookie sheet or pizza stone. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle on the chopped garlic. Sprinkle on the fontina followed by the kale. Lay on the roasted squash. Sprinkle on the parmesan, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Bake for about 15 minutes until the dough is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool for a minute or two then drizzle on the balsamic glaze and slice.