Sweet roasted acorn squash tossed with maple syrup tastes spectacular with the flavors of wood and smoke. Peeling acorn squash can be challenging since the sides are not straight and uniform. An easy way to do this is to cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and microwave the squash, cut side up, for one minute. This will slightly tenderize the skin without cooking the flesh. Cut the squash into rings, lay them flat on a cutting board, and cut off the skin. Butternut squash or pumpkin are perfect substitutes for the acorn squash if you can't find it at your local market.
Plank Preference: Alder or Maple
Makes 4 servings
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You Will Need
Soak the plank for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
In a large bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with the syrup, caraway seeds, thyme, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Add the squash and toss to coat. Place the squash on the prepared baking sheet and bake until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, thyme sprigs, garlic, and the remaining ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté, stirring often, until the onions are soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Set aside.
On a well-floured surface, roll out the pizza dough as thinly as possible into a rectangle slightly larger than the plank you are using.
Prepare the plank for grilling. Lightly spray the toasted side of the plank with the cooking spray and dust with cornmeal. Place the pizza dough on the prepared plank, folding up the edges so that the dough is the same size as the plank. Lightly prick the dough all over with a fork. Close the lid and grill for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the pizza dough is lightly browned and crisp.
Open the grill lid and spread the caramelized onions over the pizza dough. Sprinkle with the fontina and top with a thin layer of roasted squash (there may be some leftover) and a layer of goat cheese. Close the lid and grill until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a clean work surface and sprinkle with the basil.