Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Pizza with Creamy Béchamel Sauce & Caramelized Fennel

Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Pizza

with Creamy Béchamel Sauce & Caramelized Fennel

3 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Pizza just got a whole lot better. In this recipe, you’ll be using fall produce and a silky béchamel sauce to put a gourmet spin on the traditional pie. But that’s not all. Goat cheese’s incredible, creamy and crumbly texture and slightly tart flavor cut the sweetness of caramelized fennel and butternut squash, as well as the richness of the béchamel sauce. Any way you slice it, this meal is a delicious, warming autumn favorite.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Pizza with Creamy Béchamel Sauce & Caramelized Fennel
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Crumble the goat cheese. Pick off and reserve 1 tablespoon of the fennel fronds. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and stems, keeping them separate. Peel the squash; separate the round bulb from the neck. Halve the squash bulb lengthwise; scoop out and discard the seeds. Thinly slice the neck and bulb. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Pick the parsley off the stems; discard the stems. In a small bowl, combine the honey and as much of the crushed red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be.

Caramelize the fennel bulb:
2 Caramelize the fennel bulb:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced fennel bulb and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl.

Cook the squash:
3 Cook the squash:

While the fennel bulb caramelizes, add the sliced squash to the pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside. Rinse and wipe out the pot.

Make the béchamel sauce:
4 Make the béchamel sauce:

In the same pot used to cook the squash, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium until hot. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until golden brown and fragrant. Slowly whisk in the milk and ¼ cup of water until no lumps remain. Add a pinch of the fennel pollen and season with salt and pepper. Cook, whisking frequently, 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.

Assemble & bake the pizza:
5 Assemble & bake the pizza:

Lightly oil a large sheet pan. On a clean, dry work surface, using your hands, gently stretch the pizza dough to a ¼-inch thickness; place on the sheet pan, massaging the dough into the pan. Spread the béchamel sauce onto the dough and evenly top it with the cooked squash, caramelized fennel bulb, onion and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Bake 18 to 20 minutes (turning halfway through), or until browned and the dough is fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Finish & plate your dish:
6 Finish & plate your dish:

While the pizza bakes, in a small bowl, combine the parsley and fennel fronds and fennel stems. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste; toss gently to coat. Drizzle the pizza with the honey-pepper flake mixture. Top with the fennel-parsley mixture and garnish with the remaining fennel pollen. Slice the pizza Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Crumble the goat cheese. Pick off and reserve 1 tablespoon of the fennel fronds. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and stems, keeping them separate. Peel the squash; separate the round bulb from the neck. Halve the squash bulb lengthwise; scoop out and discard the seeds. Thinly slice the neck and bulb. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Pick the parsley off the stems; discard the stems. In a small bowl, combine the honey and as much of the crushed red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be.

2 Caramelize the fennel bulb:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced fennel bulb and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl.

Caramelize the fennel bulb:
Cook the squash:
3 Cook the squash:

While the fennel bulb caramelizes, add the sliced squash to the pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside. Rinse and wipe out the pot.

4 Make the béchamel sauce:

In the same pot used to cook the squash, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium until hot. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until golden brown and fragrant. Slowly whisk in the milk and ¼ cup of water until no lumps remain. Add a pinch of the fennel pollen and season with salt and pepper. Cook, whisking frequently, 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.

Make the béchamel sauce:
Assemble & bake the pizza:
5 Assemble & bake the pizza:

Lightly oil a large sheet pan. On a clean, dry work surface, using your hands, gently stretch the pizza dough to a ¼-inch thickness; place on the sheet pan, massaging the dough into the pan. Spread the béchamel sauce onto the dough and evenly top it with the cooked squash, caramelized fennel bulb, onion and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Bake 18 to 20 minutes (turning halfway through), or until browned and the dough is fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

6 Finish & plate your dish:

While the pizza bakes, in a small bowl, combine the parsley and fennel fronds and fennel stems. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste; toss gently to coat. Drizzle the pizza with the honey-pepper flake mixture. Top with the fennel-parsley mixture and garnish with the remaining fennel pollen. Slice the pizza Enjoy!

Finish & plate your dish:
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