Sometimes you just don’t have time to create a complicated meal. And sometimes you have the time and just don’t want to.
Today was one of those days.
Last week Smudge and I picked up a few sugar pumpkins at the farmer’s market, both for decoration and to cook with. She isn’t so sure she’s ready to relinquish her babies—Bob, Harry and Babycakes—to me and my menu making plans just. quite. yet.
So I had to be stealthy and cagey to sacrifice the pumpkins to the oven gods to create a roasted, creamy, orange base for the simplest pizza I’ve ever made.
My friend Angie gave me the tip of using naan flatbread instead of homemade pizza dough for a quick and easy solution to any pizza craving. And as a caterer with three wildly cute boys to feed, Angie knows the importance of getting food on the table post-haste.
I love fried sage and when its combined with squash I can’t get enough. But what I really love about this recipe is the melee of flavors: creamy pumpkin with crunchy fried sage topped with salty flavored dry aged cheese with spicy chipotle glaze. All of it topping a somewhat mundane whole wheat naan to create a harmony of flavors.
Again, this recipe is simple. Easy. Make it. Today.
A few tips to get you on your way:
1. Always remember to wash the outside of your pumpkin. Why? Because pumpkins grow in fields and fields are fertilized with manure and you don’t want the potential of eating any, um, residue.
2. Roasting the pumpkin ahead of time and storing in the refrigerator will make pulling this recipe together for a weeknight meal even easier. Although I’m not sure how much easier it can get besides having it delivered.
3. Substitute acorn or butternut squash for the pumpkin and give brie or tallegio cheeses a try for other cheesey toppers.
4. We’re hosting a Halloween trick-or-treat party this year and this is definitely going on the menu cut into individual portions as an appetizer since it’s great served hot or cold and has enough salty flavor to balance out the sweet honey glazed-squash and compliment a cocktail or hot cider.
5. I’ll be serving this with my creamy tomato soup. Perfect for dipping.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half, seed and clean. Prepare a baking sheet with foil, salt and pepper pumpkin halves and place a sprig of sage leaves in each half. Place halves skin side up on baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool and remove peel, keeping pumpkin flesh whole. Cut into thin slices and set aside.
- Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and cook for 30 seconds or until lightly crisped. Remove from oil, place on a paper towel and season with kosher salt. Reserve oil.
- Add chipotle pepper and honey to a small food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
- Place 2 naan breads on a baking sheet topped with parchment paper. Layer pumpkin pieces on naan and drizzle with ¼ of the reserved olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees or until naan and pumpkin is warmed through. Remove from oven, brush with chipotle honey and top with ¼ of shaved parmesan cheese, crispy sage leaves and sprinkle with additional kosher salt.
- Repeat with additional naan breads.
In the mood for more savory pumpkin? Get a taste of these great pumpkins.
Wicked Noodle’s easy, make-ahead Pumpkin Coconut Curry Chicken has all the ingredients for sharing while cozying up to the fire, allowing Kristy some downtime to download with friends and family outside of the kitchen.
Tessa pulls out all the stops making mom happy thanks to the healthy pumpkin and the kids happy thanks to the mac and cheese base in Handle the Heat’s Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce.
Erin’s blog Naturally Ella proudly features her vegan and gluten free Curried Pumpkin and Coconut Soup, with a great recommendation to shop beyond the grocery store and shop for curry at a spice shop or make your own to discover the most curry flavor.
Emily creates a garlic infused basil aioli tops roastey toastey veggies and sturdy fried cheese in Fuss Free Cooking’s Roasted Vegetable Plate with Haloumi.
Paula takes a radiator shaped pasta, pairs it with pumpkin and turns Bell’alimento’s Radiatori With Pumpkin Sauce into a smooth movin’ pasta machine or flamenco dancer sleeves. Her words, not mine .
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