Re//Store Kitchen: Vegan Butternut Squash & Cavalo Nero Pizza Recipe

06-03-2017

Pizza, need I say more? Pizza is a wonderful, one-dish, all round meal, a wild variety in toppings adaptable to the season and, unsurprisingly, a regular request from my family. I absolutely love the 4-ingredient spelt pizza dough recipe by My New Roots (Sarah Britton the talented vegetarian chef behind this site is coming out with a new book any moment now, I can’t wait!)

Eating dairy free pizza out is such a challenge and I find it often a bit dry as they very often just take the cheese away, and I am not always fond of ‘vegan cheese’ so I started making pizza at home more often and love coming up with fun plant-based toppings. One of my all time favourites has to be using creamy butternut squash puree as flavoursome and rich base and adding crispy Cavalo Nero, walnuts, and chilli on top.

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Butternut squash is one of the most nutritious and healthy vegetables you can eat, with a rich array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well as significant amounts of digestive fibre. I love the combination of flavours of this wonderful creamy, sweet, and vibrant coloured vegetable with the rich flavoured Cavalo Nero. Cavalo Nero or Black Kale has a very similar nutritional profile to traditional kale which means it is rich in lutein and a source of vitamins K, A and C as well as containing significant amounts of manganese, copper, fibre, calcium, iron, the B vitamins, and many other elements. High in antioxidants, working as a natural detoxifier and its ability to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent make this vegetable one of my regular go-tos in my fridge. So there you have it, two superfoods to accompany each other on my favourite spelt pizza base recipe. You can’t go wrong.

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Butternut Squash & Cavalo Nero Pizza
Serves: 4

Ingredients
Pizza dough:
430g light or dark whole spelt flour plus extra for dusting
1 ½ Tbsp active dried yeast
225ml Lukewarm water, or more if needed.
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil.

Instructions
1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
2. Mix in the active dry yeast and the water, adding more if needed. Knead until the dough is smooth but don’t over work it.
3. Dust the dough ball with extra flour put it back in the bowl, cover it with a clean towel and leave to rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours until it has approximately doubled in size.
4. Divide the dough into 4 balls and roll out into small circles, add your toppings.

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Toppings:
1 organic butternut squash
200g Cavalo Nero, stems removed, leaves cut
2tbsp Organic virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 red onion
1 handful of walnuts, toasted and lightly salted with Himalayan Salt
optional: chanterelles

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven at 225 degrees and add the butternut squash, no need to peel. Leave this in for approx. 50 min depending on your oven, turning it halfway. Then take out and let it cool. Add the pizza stone to the heated oven if you have one.
2. Prepare the kale by removing the stems and cut them into medium sized pieces. Add them to a bowl with the melted coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil and season to taste.
3. Put the kale onto a baking sheet and put in the oven between 5 to 10 minutes until crispy (but not burnt).
4. During that time prepare the red onion cutting it in half and then slice it, frying it gently in the coconut oil until it becomes soft and transparent, around 7 minutes or so. Then add the teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar, stir it another minute or two and take off the heat.
5. Take the skin off the butternut squash and take out the seeds, reserve to dry for other recipes if you wish. Mash the squash with some ground salt and pepper to taste.
6. Take the pizza dough and roll out the pizza into a nice small circle so the dough doesn’t get too thin, ensure the surface is covered in some extra flour to avoid sticking of dough to surface.
7. Add all the topping, first the butternut squash puree, then the caramelised red onion, the chanterelles and add to the oven for around 8 minutes, take it out and add the Cavalo Nero and chilli then put back in for another 3 to 5 minutes. Take out when the base is crispy. Pour a bit of olive oil over if desired, add the toasted walnuts and serve straight away, we usually share the slices as the next pizza goes in the oven. Healthy pizza feast here we come!

Tip: if it is hard to transfer the pizza onto the pizza stone you can also opt to fold it in half and make calzones.

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Text and photos by Maaike Mekking www.maaikemekking.com
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