Pita Pizza with Butternut Squash, Kale, Feta & Walnuts
1 head of kale
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 large clove of garlic
Dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 whole wheat pita bread round
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons feta cheese crumbles
1/2 cup butternut squash, cubed
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
Pour the olive oil into a large pan on medium-high heat. Rinse and dry off the kale, and remove the leaves from their thick stems. Chop the kale leaves, and mince the garlic clove. Add the kale and garlic to the hot pan, then add the vinegar, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sautee until the kale wilts down and darkens in color.
This makes more than you’ll need to top the pizza, so save the rest of it. If you end up loving it as much as I do, you’ll find plenty of other uses for it.
Steam or boil the butternut squash for 5-8 minutes until you can easily pierce it with a fork. Set aside.
To make the pita a little bit crispy, using a pair of tongs, place it right over the flame on your stovetop burner. Move it around and flip it constantly, being careful not to burn it. It should only take 1-2 minutes to get warm and crispy.
Place the pita on a greased baking sheet and brush with the last teaspoon of olive oil. Top with one tablespoon of the feta crumbles.
Add the kale and butternut squash cubes. Top with the other tablespoon of feta and the walnuts.
Place the baking sheet on the top shelf of your oven and broil for 2-3 minutes, just long enough to warm it up and slightly melt the cheese. You may also bake it at 450 degrees for 5 minutes.
Pairs Well With
I’ll be honest: in all my years of cooking, I’ve never mastered the art of making pizza from scratch. Whether I make the dough myself or buy it from Trader Joe’s, I manage to mess it up every time. What usually happens is the dough gets too tight and I have a hard time stretching it out to make a thin enough crust. When it comes time to bake it, the dough never bakes all the way through. I can recall several times I ate the toppings off what I thought would be a perfect homemade pizza, and sadly discarded the crust. Call this a humble non-brag about my cooking skills.
So what have I done to solve this? Bypass the crust completely and use another carb in its place. I’ll keep on trying to get the homemade crust right until I succeed, but in the meantime replacing it completely is what I do to fill the gap.
This recipe replaces the traditional crust with whole-wheat pita, which also happens to create a perfect single-serving sized pizza. The toppings – bright orange butternut squash, snowy-white feta crumbles, deep-green kale, and rustic chopped walnuts – add an alluring color scheme and leave little doubt as to the season they represent. Also included is a recipe-within-a-recipe for how I like to make sautéed kale, which I also love adding to pasta dishes, omelettes or grain bowls.
Here’s to cooking being a process, and to admitting our struggles even in activities we take pride in.