Recently I read an article about zero-waste in commercial kitchens. The gist of the story was that many chefs have adopted a philosophy of using not just some, but all the food scraps and leftovers in their kitchen. One chef confessed that a dish he made with leftover broccoli stems was better than the original he had prepared with the crowns, and was now a staple on his menu. When I looked in my fridge later that day, and found a sizeable collection of partially used ingredients, I realized that a little zero-waste attitude could be applied at my house.
I spotted a half full container of mascarpone, a chunk of white cheddar, and some smoked kielbasa, as well as a package of mixed mushrooms and some butternut squash (remainders from some recipe testing). In a “eureka” moment I realized these could be the makings of a delectable winter pizza.
The only ingredient I purchased was an extra thin pizza crust. It was spread with mascarpone, sprinkled with grated cheddar, and topped with a mélange of sautéed mushrooms, onions, and kielbasa. Garnishes included roasted cubes of butternut squash and a final dusting of cheddar.
This robust pizza was delicious served with a salad of arugula and shaved fennel–both of which came from the vegetable bin of my refrigerator. Count me as a convert to zero-waste cooking!
Print This Recipe
Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Pizza
2 cups peeled and cubed (3/4 inch dice) butternut squash (see note)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 oz smoked kielbasa, cut into1/2 inch dice
1 cup chopped onion
4 oz mixed wild mushrooms, such as shiitakes, oyster, and baby bellas, sliced (see note)
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed rosemary
4 oz mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 4 ozs)
One 12- to 13-inch very thin pizza round (see note.)
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
2. Place the cubed squash on a baking sheet and toss to coat well with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Salt and pepper the squash and place in the oven. Roast until the squash is tender when pierced with a sharp knife and the bottom and edges are just starting to brown, stirring the squash, every 10 minutes. Total roasting time should be 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven but retain oven temperature.
3. In a large, heavy skillet set over medium high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until hot. Add the sausage, and sauté, stirring often, until just lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
4. Heat 1 more tablespoon of oil in the same skillet until hot. Add the onion and mushrooms, and sauté, stirring, until both are tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the sausage and remove the pan from the heat.
5. Place a large baking sheet in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven to a heatproof surface and carefully (since the baking sheet is hot) place the pizza round on the pan. Spread the mascarpone (which will start to melt) over the surface of the pizza. Sprinkle half the cheddar over the mascarpone. Then spread the mushroom mixture over the cheeses. Scatter the roasted butternut squash over the mushrooms. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar over the pizza and season with several grinds of black pepper.
8. Bake the pizza until the crust is very crisp, vegetables are hot, and cheese has melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and cut into 6 slices. Makes 6 servings.
Note: Some groceries sell butternut squash already peeled and seeded--a real time-saver.
Note. At the grocery, look for packages of mixed sliced mushrooms including shiitakes, baby bellas, and oyster--a convenient way to buy them. If unavailable, use 4 to 6 ounces shiitakes (stems removed and mushrooms sliced) and 4 ounces baby bellas (sliced through the stems).