I must admit, I almost entirely forgot to make something for this month’s Recipe Swap.
But let me back up for a moment, as I try to explain my strange and busy week to you all.
Great Lent started last Monday, February 27th. For those of you who know me (or have been reading this blog for a while), you probably already know that my husband and I participate in the Greek Orthodox tradition of Great Lent. (I’ve written about our Lenten experiences in the past, so feel free to read last year’s post if you’re curious.) Essentially, it means I won’t be consuming meat, dairy, or alcohol for the next six weeks.
So, Lent started last Monday. And then Thursday I flew to Las Vegas for a mini-vacation with a couple of my girlfriends. As much as I love the practice of Lent, being a vegan (who doesn’t drink) in Las Vegas just isn’t practical (or fun!). So I cheated on my Lenten diet for a few days, and now I’m back to normal Lenten life.
That being said, last week was strange. And in the midst of the insanity of last week, I realized I needed to make something for this month’s Recipe Swap. This month, Christianna selected a basic pizza recipe for the group to re-create:
Due to my dietary restrictions and my busy pre-vacation schedule, I knew my pizza needed to be a.) vegan and b.) relatively quick and easy.
And this is what I came up with: a flatbread pizza with butternut squash puree, sauteed chickpeas, radicchio and endive slaw with tahini dressing. The recipe is a tribute to one of my all-time favorite vegan recipes, which is a Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad from Smitten Kitchen. I took the basic ingredients and flavors of that salad, and turned them into a delectable vegan pizza. It was seriously awesome (and I will definitely be making this recipe again).
I apologize that this post is short and to the point, but I just got back from Las Vegas and I have a husband, cat, and bunny to snuggle with! I hope you enjoy the recipe, and please do check out my fellow swappers creations below.
FLATBREAD PIZZA WITH BUTTERNUT SQUSH, CHICKPEAS AND RADICCHIO SLAW WITH TAHINI
(Inspired from the flavors in Smitten Kitchen’s Warm Butternut Squash Salad)
Note: This recipe may look like it’s complicated, as it has so many different elements. Other than making the squash puree (which can be done ahead of time), each element of this pizza only took minutes to put together. It really was easy and quick!
3-4 pieces of Naan bread (or other flatbread. I used Trader Joe’s frozen Naan.)
3/4 cup butternut squash puree (See instructions and ingredients for puree below. Can be made ahead of time.)
1 small head of radicchio
1 small head of endive
1 large handful of flat leaf parsley
1/2 a large red onion, diced
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Salt & pepper, to taste
Tahini sauce ingredients:
1 medium garlic clove, minced
The juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water (more, if needed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced parsley
Salt & pepper, to taste
Butternut squash puree:
1 butternut squash
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half (lengthwise) and remove seeds and pulp. Remove stem. Brush squash halves with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place squash on a lined baking sheet, face down. Roast in the oven until flesh very tender (30-45 minutes). Allow squash to cool. Scrape squash flesh off of the skin and puree using a blender or food processor. Season with a touch of salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Using a knife or mandoline, slice endive and radicchio very thinly (into a chiffonade). Toss the endive and raddichio mixture with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mince 1/2 of the jalapeno (remove seeds) and add to slaw. Add most of the red onion (reserving some onion for the chickpea topping), a handful of chopped parsley, and the toasted almonds. Taste, and adjust seasonings. (Optional: you can also toss the radicchio slaw with some of the tahini sauce for extra tahini goodness.)
Stir together tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. The mixture will thicken and turn a lighter shade. Begin adding water, one spoonful at a time. Stir until the mixture is light and creamy, and the desired thickness. Stir in garlic and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a small skillet or saucepan, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium heat. Add the rest of the red onion and allow to cook until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add the other 1/2 of the minced jalapeno and the rinsed chickpeas. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in some chopped fresh parsley. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top of the chickpea mixture. Set aside.
Assemble the pizzas:
Arrange naan or flatbread on a baking sheet. Spread an even layer of butternut squash puree over each piece of bread. Sprinkle a handful of the chickpea topping over each pizza. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, until the edges of the flatbread are golden brown and the underside is crisp. (If you’d like a little extra browning on top, you can always broil for a few seconds at the very end). Remove pizzas from oven and place a generous amount of the radicchio slaw on top. Drizzle tahini dressing over the top of the pizzas and serve immediately.