Simple and Satisfying: Grilled Pizza

Grilled PizzaI love when stars align. A rainy day, a new grill pan, a new whole wheat pizza dough recipe AND a day working from home….no question at all about what to make for dinner. There is a restaurant in Taormina that makes a mean Pizza Capricciosa….crispy crust, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, ham, mozzarella…one of my favorites. And with all the ingredients in house – easy decision as to what type of pizza to make.  

Some other favorites of mine to consider:

-Carmelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, gruyere or goat cheese, herbs

-Sliced fresh tomatoes, basil, ricotta, mozzarella

-Arugula, shaved parmesan, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts

-Pears, toasted walnuts, sharp pecorino

 Grilled pizza is so incredibly easy and fun to make. I make this alot when kids are coming to visit as they can pick out their toppings and they love watching it get crispy on the grill.  Or let guests each take their turn making their own personal pizza. You do not need to make your own dough. Fresh pizza dough can be found in almost every market today or pop by the local pizza place who are usually happy to sell a few disks of dough!

A few tips:

1. Don’t fret over the shape. The disks can be long, round, oblong, rectangular – it gives your pizzas a homemade flair.  Just keep in mind that they need to be flipped so don’t make them too large.

2. Have all the ingredients chopped and ready to go before you put the dough on the grill. Things get moving pretty quickly once the dough goes on the grill so you will need to have everything at hand.

3. Have olive oil ready to brush on the dough for a nice crispy golden crust.  Use a garlic or herb infused oil to pick up the flavor a bit.

So off you go…..spin a few disks of dough, select your favorite toppings and fire up the grill!

Grilled Pizza

Whole wheat pizza dough:

-1 package active dry yeast

-1 cup of warm water (105 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit)

-1/2 teaspoon sugar

-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

-1 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour

-1 1/2 cups of bread flour

-1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Quick tomato sauce:

-1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

-1 anchovy, chopped (optional)

-1 (28-ounce can) good quality crushed tomatoes

-Sea salt, to taste

-Hot pepper flakes, to taste

Toppings for pizza:

-Diced ham (about 1/4 pound)

-Sliced mushrooms (either marinated or fresh; about 1/2 cup)

-Thinly sliced artichoke hearts (not marinated; about 1/2 cup)

-Freshly shredded mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces)

-About 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Make the pizza dough:

-Combine the yeast and the warm water in a small glass bowl or measuring cup. Add in the sugar and give it a quick stir.  Let sit until yeast dissolves and mixture looks spongy – usually about 10 minutes.

-Add in the olive oil.

-In the bowl of a food processor or mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the whole wheat flour, bread flour and salt.  Pulse to combine.  With the machine running, add in the yeast mixture.

-Process until the dough forms a ball. Add water, a teaspoon at a time, if too dry.

-Remove the ball and knead on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes, adding flour if necessary to form a smooth dough.

-Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Turn ball over to ensure all sides are lightly oiled.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm spot to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

-Once the dough has risen, divide into two or more balls. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 20 minutes.  If not using immediately, place the balls in a resealable plastic bag and put in the refrigerator. They can stay in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. Bring to room temperature prior to rolling out when ready to use.

-Roll out the dough into desired shape and thickness. I love mine as thin as I can get them.

Make the sauce:

-While the dough is rising, make the sauce. Saute the chopped garlic in the oil in a small saucepan. Do not allow to burn. Add the chopped anchovy if using. Stir to combine for a few seconds.

-Add the can of crushed tomatoes and add sea salt and pepper flakes to taste.

-Allow to simmer for 15 minutes or so to combine flavors and allow to reduce.

Fire up the grill and make the pizza:

-Preheat the grill to medium high heat. 

-Spray with non-stick cooking spray or brush with olive oil.

-Assemble all your toppings near the grill so you are ready to go.

-Place the dough directly on the grill. Once it starts to crisp and pull away from the grill, flip to other side. Keep a close eye as it can burn easily depending on the thickness.

-Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Flip the dough a few times until it is done.

-Turn the heat to low.

-Sprinkle the dough with toppings.  Close the top to allow the heat to circulate and melt the cheeses.

-Cook until toppings are heated and cheese are melted….enjoy!

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