Pizza on the Grill: even the Italians approve!

Pizza with grilled courgette, mushrooms and pine nutsLooking for something fun to grill this 4th of July weekend? What could be more fun than Pizza On The Grill! Last summer a friend of mine invited me over for pizza on the grill. My response, “Huh?” Not only did we have a blast making gourmet pizzas, our tummies were ecstatic. Since then, I’ve made several different pizza concoctions and all have been delicious. If you are planning on having people over, one time saver is to ask each guest to bring their favorite topping pre chopped up. You can provide the dough, sauces, and cheese. Let the party begin!

For the Dough: If you don’t want to make your own dough or don’t have the time, you can purchase pre-made pizza dough at the grocery store, local pizza shop, or at many local bakeries. If you have the time, making your own dough can be fun and pretty easy. I am including one dough option that I have used and which I have taken from The William and Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook, but you can substitute different types of flour if you would like something a little healthier.

1 tsp sugar

1 scant cup warm water

2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) dry active yeast

2 4/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Start by dissolving your sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle your yeast on top and leave it for about 5 minutes or until foamy. Then add in your flour and salt, mixing in small amounts slowly with a wooden spoon (you can use a food processor on the pulse setting as well). Next, add your olive oil and the yeast mixture. Your dough should now be soft and sticky. Create a flowered work surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes or until it is smooth. Add little bits of flour into the dough if it still seems too sticky. Roll it into a ball and place it in a bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and set it aside for 45-60 minutes. When you uncover the bowl you should have twice the amount of dough! Take it out and give it a beating…literally punch it down with your fist and then let it stand for 5 minutes. Again, place it on your floured work surface kneading it for a few minutes. Grab your rolling-pin and get to work. You should be able to roll out a 12 inch wide circle. Brush the top of your dough with olive oil and place it on your hot pizza stone. You can also make individual sized pizzas by simply splitting the dough into four equal sections. 10308878_10152174251682572_2874243425992620293_nFor the Grill: Get your grill fired up! Make sure that you use a pizza stone directly on the grill for this dough. Follow the instructions on your pizza stone for pretreatment/prep before using. Once your pizza is loaded with toppings, cover the grill with the vents left open and then let the Pizza Grilling begin. It only takes about 8-10 minutes for the dough to cook. Make sure to turn it once half way through. Presto! Eat up!

For the Toppings: Get creative with your toppings. If you have a lot of veggies, you may want to cover these with olive oil, throw them into a grilling basket or even on the stove top to grill or sauté them a little before putting them on the pizza. Choose your sauce and cheese. Load everything on and then get the grilling going.10414570_10152174286507572_7579444340403216807_n Some of Ayla’s Favorite Topping Concoctions:

1. Pesto for the sauce, garlic stuffed olives, freshly sliced Roma tomatoes, feta cheese, rotisserie chicken breast, and spinach

2. Sauceless, prosciutto, pear slices, goat cheese, caramelized onions and Herbs de Province sprinkled on top

3. Figs, prosciutto, gorgonzola, arugula, with balsamic drizzle on top (add the arugula and balsamic after grilling)

4. traditional veggie with three cheese tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and every veggie under the sun 5. Any red tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, sliced carrots, cauliflower, apple slices, and italian sausage (make sure to brown the sausage before putting it on the pizza-it needs to be fully cooked ahead of time) with some rosemary sprinkled on top.

On a side note…I love to use Newman’s Own Tomato Sauces for pizza and pasta. Not only do they taste good, but this company gives ALL of its profit away to charities…over $400 million over the past 30 years! I’m okay with joining that charitable band wagon! Anyway, make grilling a fun family event or social get together excuse with Pizza on the Grill! Gone are the days of deep dish!Pizza with grilled courgette, mushrooms and pine nuts

From The Mom in Me, MD