Pizza night

roasted squash and onion pizza

No matter how many onions I use from the basket in my pantry, the CSA refills them. Now begins the deluge of squash, too. Tonight, I chopped up a bunch of both, tossed them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and roasted them at 425 degrees until the whole lot was caramelized. They became a vegetable pizza.

Some dough, a thin layer of tomato sauce (I hate pizzas that are floating in tomato sauce), the roasties and some vegan cheese for the Dairy-Allergic Hub. The man had missed his pizza before I found a decent vegan cheese, poor thing. I pleased my dairy desires with a side salad of tender tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Yes, I ate cheese right in front of The Hub. Sometimes, I’ve just gotta.

Pizza for the tailgate? Yes!

It can be fun to judge local cooking contests, because I can see how much creativity is out there. The downside is discovering how many people have Cool Whip and aren’t afraid to use it, but you take your chances. Recently I was a judge for a cornmeal recipe contest sponsored by Yates Mill in Raleigh, N.C., a beautifully restored stone gristmill that still operates (and sells stone-ground cornmeal).

The clear winner was a recipe that would be great for tailgating, because it combines two things sports fans love: Pizza and the grill.  Brad Herring of Raleigh created a pizza with a cornmeal crust, topped with bacon, butternut squash, garlic and peppers, which he cooked in a cast-iron frying pan in his smoker. Herring said that any kind of grill with a lid would work, and that the components of the recipe could be made at home, then assembled and cooked at the tailgate.

The crust had a great texture, even after it had been sitting out a while before the judging. The butternut squash was a nice touch, as was the garlic cream. Find Herring’s recipe here.