Butternut Squash White Bean Naan Pizza

I am loving all things butternut squash right now! Looking for comforting and versatile ways to cook with it that are a little out of the ordinary. Taking one ingredient and working it so that you can have multiple meals is my jam – saves time and money! Outside of the traditional, yet delicious butternut squash soup and roasted butternut squash – this is a roasted butternut squash and white bean naan pizza! Yes, this is as good as it sounds!


Everything starts with a peeled butternut squash – it seems daunting but really is quite easy with a good vegetable peeler! I roasted my squash at 425 degrees for 22 minutes flesh side down and then flipped over and cooked for 18 more minutes! I add a generous amount of olive oil all around the squash so that it can cook evenly. So now that we have the basics, let’s break down how to make this naan pizza!

Ingredients

1/2 roasted butternut squash
1/2 cup cannellini beans (cooked in the can is what I used) + more for topping
2 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
2 whole grain naan
TOPPINGS
1 link chorizo sausage
sliced red onion
sage & thyme
goat cheese


Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the preheated oven. Follow directions above for roasting butternut squash. Hot out of the oven, combine the squash with the cannellini beans to a blender and mix until nice and smooth (you may need to add a pinch of water to get the consistency you want). Remove pan carefully and place naan on pan. Combine olive oil and garlic and spread on top of the naan. Split the squash and bean mixture across both pieces of naan and spread so that it almost reaches the sides. Now the fun part: toppings! I added cooked chorizo, red onion, cannellini beans, thyme & goat cheese to one. A vegetarian version would be everything minus the chorizo and I added sage and a balsamic glaze for an extra kick of flavor!

This one is EASY, good and you can get creative with the toppings! Let me know how you like it and what else you like to make with butternut squash!


The Perfect BLT

If you know me, you know I LOVE a good BLT. If you don’t know me, here is me telling you I LOVE a good BLT! I don’t know what about the combo makes me smile but it does. I think it’s the crispy bread, the lush lettuce, juicy tomatoes and crispy bacon! The moment you bite into the sandwich and the bacon, lettuce & tomato meet for the first time – it’s like a salty, lush, juicy combination that is truly delicious. I know that it’s a classic combo and can be found in most deli’s and even on restaurant lunch menus – but I am here to tell you how to make the perfect, and I mean MOST perfect BLT at home. I am going to break down all the different types of lettuce and tomato, tips on how to get that perfect crispy bacon & even a little homemade bagel recipe. Get your pen and paper out, take notes and then go try it out for yourself!

Ok – so it’s in the name – bacon, lettuce & tomato. Those are the important factors to this sandwich.
BACON: needs to be crispy. Half of the beauty of this sandwich is the crispy bacon. It gives the sandwich and the perfect bite definition and meaning. The salty component of the bacon also makes my mouth water and pairs perfectly with the tomato. Quick tip getting the perfect crispy bacon every time; the oven! So here it is and you’ll never make bacon differently again.


Preheat your oven to 375
Place bacon on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and flip bacon and place back in the oven for 3 more minutes. **all ovens are a little different so after the initial 10 minute window watch the bacon so it doesn’t burn (but also if you don’t like it as crispy)

LETTUCE: this piece of the puzzle is important because you want to make sure the flavor and texture of the lettuce doesn’t overpower the other flavors of the sandwich. I know that some sandwiches can become complex and people are into that now so I am giving you options; Bibb Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce & Arugula. Bibb lettuce tastes like butter – I love it. The texture is soft and lush. Romaine has the crunch factor! I love a good crunch on a BLT. The arugula is for the out of the box BLT lover. With a spicy flavor and more of a earthy texture this one is perfect if you are looking to kick up your BLT game!

TOMATO: The tomato can arguably be the toughest decision. Given our current season (summer) all tomatoes taste like pure heaven. This one might truly be a convenient factor (homegrown if you are fortunate to have them), local because we all love to support local! Heirloom because well they are gorgeous, juicy and come in so many different colors! And the sweet cherry if you like little pockets and bursts of tomato in your sandwich. All are great options – just find the ripest and you’re good to go!

Ok, so now we have the basics identified. There are two other factors that are very important (to me at least). The bread and the sauce! Any homemade or local bread would taste amazing, bagels are my personal favorite (and I have even tried corn tortilla’s – hello BLT tacos!) I truly think the biggest make-or-break factor with the bread is it has to be TOASTED!!! I don’t have a toaster so I heat my oven up and place it in the broiler section to give it some color – if you go this route you should check on it ever 2 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn!

What ever sauce you go with it just make sure YOU like it! Nothing worse than having this amazing sandwich and a sauce you can’t stand. My two favorites are spicy mayo (mayonnaise + sriracha) & honey mustard (dijon mustard + honey + olive oil). You can obviously buy these from the store but I usually have the staples at home to make a small batch whenever I need!

Remember, toasting the bread is crucial so that it can hold up to all of the internal components – no one likes soggy bread!
Now to assemble:
Toasted Bagel
Spicy Mayo (on both sides)
Bibb Lettuce
Heirloom Tomato
Crispy Bacon

Now add the other side of the bagel on top and baboom, you have just created the best dang BLT, ever!!

I did try to make homemade bagels back in April and they actually turned out really good – so linking the recipe below if you don’ t have access to delicious bagels (we are so spoiled in NYC). I have no clue why but this sandwich is seriously next level for me on a bagel! My go-to is usually an everything bagel but the bagel shop accidently gave me sesame (I love sesame too) so we worked with it!
EASY GLUTEN FREE BAGELS – makes 4
>Gluten Free/Whole Wheat Flour
>Fat Free Greek Yogurt
>Baking Powder
>Salt
>One Egg
>Bagel Seasoning of Choice
Preheat oven to 375. Combine 1 cup of flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder & 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. Then add 1 cup of fat free greek yogurt. Mix together until a dough forms. Remove from the bowl onto a floured surface and knead the dough (use your fist to press down on the dough. This helps the gluten strands to warm and stretch in the dough which makes it springy & elastic). Then separate dough into four sections. Roll each section in a ball and create a hole in the center. Spread out until a bagel shape forms – repeat until you have four complete bagel shape pieces. Whisk one egg and wash each bagel (taking egg mixture and essentially painting it on the bagels – this will help the bagels get golden and allow the seasoning to stick!) Top with your favorite bagel seasoning and bake in the 375 degree oven for 25 minutes! Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut in half, toast accordingly and ENJOY!