Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Turban squash and caramelized onion puree/pizza sauce

I have been a bit under the weather, and also working on a minor kitchen remodel (details coming soon), so this post took me longer to write than I expected. This isn't the first pizza sauce that I have posted (see Acorn squash puree as pizza sauce and the Tomato topping included with Sweet Potato Pizza Crust), and since I am always playing with pizza, I also doubt that it will be my last. This particular sauce was a combination of turban squash puree and caramelized onion puree.
This was my first experience with turban squash, and I enjoyed it. The seeds that came from this squash were beautifully plump, and roasted nicely to taste quite a bit like pumpkin seeds with a slightly tougher shell (see Roasted Squash Seeds). The seed wasn't the only thing with a tough hull, since I had to just about climb up on the knife and jump up and down to cut it in half, and I believe I briefly considered going for the chainsaw. Once I managed to dismember it and scoop out the insides, I was surprised by the scent of the fruit. It smelled like a combination of cucumber and melon, but when I tasted it, the flavor seemed lacking, especially compared to the acorn squash. Maybe it was just this particular squash, but I felt like the puree needed a companion. After some brainstorming, I decided that caramelized onion was just what this shy fruit needed to bring it out of its oh-so-tough shell.

1 cup turban squash puree (app. amount from 1 squash)
1 cup roughly chopped onion
1 tsp each oregano, basil, thyme
salt to taste

Roast the squash with just a bit of water at 350°F (app. 175°C*), until fork tender. Let cool, then puree. 
Fry onions with a splash of olive oil, until they are a beautiful brown. Let them cool and puree them and add to the turban squash puree in a pot.
Add herbs and salt, and if needed add some water.
Turn on low heat to get the herbs ‘talking' to each other while you made a crust.

I topped the pizza with bacon, finely chopped onions (yes, we like onions, LOL), mushrooms and sliced cherry tomatoes. We liked this sauce, but it still came in behind the others listed above, because of the squash. I'd like to revisit the idea, and add some wine to the sauce, and use acorn squash. I still had to write up the post, since we definitely enjoy the pizza experiments, and I hope you enjoy reading about them. Does anyone have suggestions on what I should try next?

*I use an online conversion chart and round up or down, as seems appropriate. Please adjust according to your judgement, and send me a message if you find an error. Thank you.

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