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Challenge: Healthy Swaps

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PESTO PIZZA ON CAULIFLOWER CRUST

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Move over Kale. There’s a new Superfood Superstar that has until now, been relegated to being roasted, steamed, smothered with cheese or made into a creamed soup. But cauliflower is a wallflower no more and is catching the wave of popularity because of its newly discovered adaptability to favorites like pizza! In fact, cauliflower pizza crust has put it on the map for a whole new generation to enjoy. Add your favorite toppings to the crust or try this unique butternut squash recipe!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PESTO PIZZA ON CAULIFLOWER CRUST

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower – about 3-4 cups once processed
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fine
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes or more
  • Optional, 1 tablespoon flour
  • Cheese cloth or clean kitchen towel
  • Parchment paper coated with olive oil
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups butternut squash, diced (1 large squash)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey, date molasses or brown sugar
  • 1 cup pesto
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded gourmet cheese (Gruyere, Smoked Gouda, etc)

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry head of cauliflower. Cut off florets and discard all stems. In a food processor or with a cheese grater, “rice” the florets to a fine, powdery consistency.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave cauliflower for about 4 minutes until steamed. Spread cauliflower on cheese cloth or clean kitchen towel. When cooled, wrap up cloth and wring out liquid from cauliflower. (Wring out as much as you can. This is an important step to making sure the crust is crisp and not soggy.)
  4. In a bowl, combine cauliflower, parmesan, mozzarella, egg, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and optional flour. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or by hand. Place parchment paper on 2 baking sheets and brush with olive oil. Form two 9-inch crusts, placing each on separate baking sheets. (Use pizza pans or pizza stone if available.) Bake approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, carefully remove hard skin from butternut squash and cut in ½ inch cubes.
  6. Over medium heat, sauté the onion in olive oil. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes, until onions are golden and have softened. Add squash, salt, honey, date molasses or brown sugar and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring gently until squash is cooked but still slightly firm.
  7. Spoon the pesto sauce onto the baked crusts, then layer with the squash and finish with the cheeses. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until cheese has melted.
  8. Slice pizza into wedges and serve.

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