With savory thyme, mellow butternut squash, and warm melted cheese, this flatbread pizza is perfect for lunch, or for dinner alongside a salad or a hearty bowl of soup. It only takes about a half hour to make, so it is a great option when you are short on time, but want something warm and satisfying.
I tend to go overboard in the late fall when buying squash. The different colors and varieties all look so inviting, and I have so many plans and ideas for them. Then when winter comes, I still have a couple of squash sitting elegantly on the counter in a pretty still-life, waiting to be used. This flatbread pizza is a perfect way to use that squash before it’s too late, and it tastes so good, even the non-squash-lovers in your family will be surprised. The health benefits of squash are well-known, and we can all use some extra potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
The key is to cut the pieces of the squash small enough so they roast to tenderness while they are on the flatbread, thereby saving yourself that extra step of pre-roasting the squash before baking the pizza. The sliced onion and the thyme really add a beautiful flavor, and blend so well with the mildness of the squash. I like to use naan flatbread for these pizzas, which you can easily find at the grocery store. That makes them quick to make, because sometimes time is scarce.
Because our winter has been unusually mild so far, I was able to go out and find some thyme in our garden for this pizza. I am always pleasantly amazed at how good fresh herbs smell, and how each one has such a distinct flavor. I did a little research on thyme, since I like to add meaning to my food. According to many sources, thyme historically symbolizes courage. Greek soldiers used to bathe in water infused with thyme before battles, and medieval maidens embroidered thyme leaves on their knights’ cloaks for courage. Thyme was also placed under pillows at night to keep nightmares away.
Another prevalent theme regarding thyme is that according to northern European folklore, fairies were often found sleeping in beds of wild thyme. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon, king of the fairies, tells where to find the queen of the fairies: “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,/ Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,/Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,/With sweet musk-roses and elegantine.” When my kids were younger, we used to go around the yard looking for fairy houses. Little did we know, there might have been one in our herb garden. 🙂
I hope you all have a great weekend, and happy holidays! And if you need a little extra courage one day, tuck a sprig of thyme in your pocket.I am taking this recipe over to Angie’ Fiesta Friday today, co-hosted this week by Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking and Linda @ La Petite Paniere.
Butternut Squash Flatbread Pizza
- 4 flatbreads (I like to use naan)
- 2 cups of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/2 of an onion, sliced thinly (yellow sweet or red onion)
- 1-2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
- 1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I use mozzarella and Parmesan, but sharp cheddar would work too)
- olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and chop the butternut squash and slice the onion. Lightly spread olive oil onto the pieces of flatbread. Arrange the pieces of squash and slices of onion on the flatbreads. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Then sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Place the pizzas on a baking sheet, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the cheese is melted. Serve alone as a light meal, or as a side dish with soup or salad. Enjoy!