A healthy harvest pizza featuring a spelt flour crust, walnut parsley pesto base, and roasted delicata squash, mushrooms, onion, olives, and feta cheese for toppings!
Prep Time:60 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 10 minutes
Yield:2 pizzas, 6 slices each 1x
FOR THE CRUST:
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 tsp pure maple syrup
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fine sea salt
3 cups whole spelt flour, plus more for kneading (you may sub whole wheat flour, light spelt flour, or all purpose flour if you wish)
FOR THE ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH:
1 medium delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out, and sliced into 1/2-inch circles
3/4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE PARSLEY WALNUT PESTO:
2/3 cup raw walnut halves
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (from 2 medium lemons)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
20 twists black pepper
2 tbsp tahini
2 very tightly packed cups fresh parsley (some stems are okay)
3 tbsp water
FOR THE PIZZA:
8 cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
1 thinly sliced red onion
1 cup crumbled goat or sheep feta cheese
MAKE THE CRUST: Place the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup and yeast; whisk to combine. Cover and wait for yeast to activate. You will know that the yeast has activated when it forms a layer of bubbles/froth at the top. Once the yeast is frothy, add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Stir to incorporate, adding more flour as you go to form a workable dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, adding more flour as necessary, to form a smooth and elastic dough. The dough should not be too sticky, nor too stiff.
Transfer dough to a clean, lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let it proof in a warm area of your kitchen until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
ROAST THE SQUASH: While the dough is proofing, prepare the squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sliced squash in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
MAKE THE PESTO: While the squash is in the oven, make the pesto. Place the walnuts, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, tahini, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade and begin blending. With the motor running, add the water through the top tube. Blend until smooth and creamy; transfer to an airtight container until ready to use.
About 5 minutes before your are ready to assemble the pizzas, increase oven temperature to 500 degrees F. If you have pizza stones, place them in the oven to preheat. If you are not using pizza stones, do not place your pans in the oven yet.
Once dough has proofed, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times, then divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, roll out dough on a floured surface into a shape that will fit your pizza stone or which ever pan you are using. You are aiming for a thin crust, and keep in mind that the crust will puff up a bit as it bakes.
Remove your pizza stones from the oven and place a sheet of parchment paper on each. Transfer the rolled out dough to the stone, or to which ever pan your are using. (I used Pampered Chef brand stoneware cookie sheets, but you can also use a round pizza pan if that’s all that you have). Brush the outside edges of the crust with olive oil to enhance crisping.
Spread about 1/3-1/2 cup of pesto onto each crust, followed by half of the delicata squash, half of the sliced mushrooms, 1/4 cup of the olives, half of the onion, and 1/2 cup of the feta cheese.
Bake at 500 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, checking frequently to prevent burning.
If desired, broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute at the end to brown the cheese.
Slice each pizza into 6 slices and enjoy!
If you prefer a vegan pizza, no problem! Simply omit the feta cheese and use my sunflower parmesan, tofu ricotta, or store-bought vegan cheese instead.
If at first your yeast doesn’t activate, try, try again. It’s likely that your water was likely too hot or too cold the first time.
Keywords: squash and pesto pizza, fall harvest pizza, vegetarian pesto and feta pizza, autumn pizza recipe, delicata squash on pizza, spelt pizza crust recipe