Guest Post: Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula Pesto

My first guest post comes from my dear friend and roommate, Meg. Meg rocks. I don't really know what else to say. She's undercrediting herself in her intro below - don't buy into her "I needed to step up my cooking game" crap...she's a rockstar chef and baker! So you can be sure that she killed it with this recipe...it was seriously so good. Take it away, Meglet:

 

Guest Post: Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula Pesto 

Helloooooo blogosphere!

First off, I have to give props to Finley not only for giving me the distinct honor of writing a guest post, but also for making this blog such a success in the mere week since its inception. Seeing this idea come to fruition has been so fun, and I am so proud of her for all the work that's gone into not only the blog, but into her newly "practically paleo" lifestyle. I know the word "paleo" is daunting to some, but I think she has done an outstanding job of making this lifestyle extremely accessible (and enjoyable, hence the bacon).

If you think the food looks good in the pictures, just imagine how our house smells... walking in after work to see the kitchen filled with these masterpieces has not only been a test of willpower (are you SURE you need those leftovers for lunch, Finley?) but it has also prompted me to step up my cooking game and quit the "I'm too tired so I'm going to cook a veggie omelet every night" mode I've gotten myself into.

While I am not fully paleo (or even close to Finley's "practically" level), the majority of my meals come from whole, real foods or are paleo when I have the proper ingredients. This recipe was a compilation of cravings, what was in the fridge and the fantastic discovery that my favorite vegetable - butternut squash - can be morphed into a substitute base for my all-time favorite food: PIZZA. Bear with me, as I am terrible at cooking by recipes and had to be reminded to document portions and ingredients. Hope you all enjoy this, we sure did!

Ingredients

For Crust

  • 1 package (32 oz) pre-cut butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 egg

For Arugula Pesto

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 4 tbsp minced garlic (or more to taste, per preference)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk (the condensed, fat part)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • Salt/pepper/red pepper flakes to taste

For Toppings:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 10 spears of asparagus, cut into thirds (or desired length)
  • 1 cup of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3-4 large slices of prosciutto, cut into strips or small pieces
  • Salt/pepper/red pepper flakes to taste
  • Garlic, minced, to taste
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Toss butternut squash in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the coated squash across the cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until you can pierce it easily with a fork (until it's "mashable").
  4. Remove squash from oven, place in large bowl, and mash with your utensil of choice (I used a wooden spoon) - this should yield approximately 2.5-3 cups.
  5. Mix in coconut flour (or any substitute flour - almond, garbanzo, etc.), dried oregano, red pepper flakes and salt/pepper to taste. Add 1 egg and mix all together (easiest to just mix by hand).
  6. Line a cookie sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper.
  7. Transfer the "dough" to your cookie sheet or pizza stone and press into a circle (or desired shape - inser creativity here) - bake for 30 minutes.*Make sure to monitor the crust as it cooks as I'm sure it's different in all ovens...it can burn easily.
  8. While this is in the oven, prepare the arugula pesto: Add arugula into your food processor and add the garlic, olive oil, coconut milk, dijon mustard, lemon juice, pine nuts and salt/pepper/red pepper flakes to taste. You can also consider adding basil, I think it would make this pesto even better - we just didn't have any on hand.
  9. Saute mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes in about 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic (all to taste). Place in a bowl and set aside.
  10. Lightly toast pine nuts in the same pan you used to saute your mushrooms. Watch them closely, as they burn quickly.
  11. Remove crust from oven when ready, spread with arugula pesto, top with half of your prosciutto portion followed by sauteed veggies. Top with the remaining proscuitto and sprinkle with pine nuts.
  12. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes.
  13. Remove and enjoy!