Acorn Squash and Quesillo Pizza with Habanero Chile Oil
Autumnal acorn squash and habanero chile oil are the stars of this fall pizza, with pickled red onions, cilantro and quesillo rounding out its flavors.
Ooni’s U.S. headquarters are based in Austin, Texas, giving us access to some wonderful Mexican restaurants. For this recipe, we took our cues from the kinds of seasonal and surprising dishes that Food and Wine’s Best New Chef Fermín Núñez (@chiefnunez) turns out at his buzzy nearby restaurant, Suerte . Here, we created a pizza that combines peak season produce with tried-and-true Mexican flavor combinations. Roasted acorn squash and quesillo — a Oaxacan cheese that’s salty and stringy, and bears some resemblance to fresh mozzarella — serve as the creamy base. Cilantro, pickled red onions and a habanero chile oil straight from Suerte’s playbook are the post-bake garnishes that bring everything together.
If you can’t find quesillo in your grocery store, local Latin American market or online, sub in fresh mozzarella or Monterey Jack, which will mimic quesillo’s melty goodness.
The best time to find acorn squash is late fall to early winter. Look for a squash that’s mostly green, heavy and smooth. A bit of orange on the outside is good, but a squash that’s too orange indicates overripeness. If you find great squash, but aren’t quite ready to make this pizza, store it for up to two months in a dark, dry and cool place like a pantry or cellar.
Notes: This recipe includes our recipes for Pickled Red Onions and Chef Fermín Núñez’s Habanero Chile Oil.
four 4 x 12” pizzas
4 x 250-gram dough balls
1 small acorn squash, quartered
1 tablespoon (13 grams) olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
flour, for stretching
11 ounces (320 grams) quesillo
1 cup (20 grams) fresh cilantro
¼ cup (80 grams) pickled red onions
habanero chile oil, to tasteMethod
This recipe would suit a variety of pizza styles, but we think our Classic Pizza Dough would be a great fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before firing up your oven.
Heat your home oven to 425°F (218°C).
Quarter your squash and rub olive oil and salt on the cut sides. Place them flat on a baking sheet and roast until completely soft, about 45 minutes. Let cool, then scoop out the interior, leaving the skin behind. Break the squash into small, one-inch chunks and set aside.
Preheat your Ooni oven to 900°F (485°C), using an infrared thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature of the stone.
Place a dough ball on your lightly floured work surface. Push the air from the center out toward the edge using your fingertips. Stretch the dough out to a 12-inch base, then lay the stretched dough over your lightly floured pizza peel or countertop. Tear the quesillo into small pieces about the length and width of your pinky finger. Top the pizza with a quarter of the quesillo (80g), squash (60g) and pickled red onions (20g). Launch the pizza into the oven and cook for 60 to 90 seconds, turning to ensure an even bake. Remove from the oven and place on a cutting board.Drizzle with habanero chile oil and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Tip: Habanero oil is spicy! If you want to reduce the heat factor, garnish your pizza with just the oil and leave the actual sliced habanero peppers behind.Slice, serve and enjoy. Repeat with the remaining pizzas.