Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Grilling Pizza

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Grilling Pizza, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

If you are a human of flesh and blood, your two favorite things are GRILLING and PIZZA. It’s a universal truth.

My favorite way to prepare pizza at home is to grill it (as opposed to using the wood-burning brick oven we don’t have). I like the smoky flavor the crust soaks up from the fire and those nice grill marks are also a treat.

We made 3 different pizzas this time around.
1. A Greek inspired one with sautéed spinach, red onion, garlic and mushrooms and tomato sauce, feta cheese, capers and kalamata olives. (pictured above)
2. A Margarita Pizza with buffalo mozzarella, sliced tomato and basil.
3. And a Pure Magic pizza with sautéed corn, red onion and fennel over goat cheese.

corn

How it’s done.
Okay, regardless of how you make your dough (or where you buy a premade ball of it), there are a few important steps you’ll need to take to make awesome grilled pizza that actually holds together and doesn’t turn into an ashy mess on the grill, or worse, ooze through the grill top like a slab of melting rubber.

Prep the toppings.
I like to prepare my toppings ahead and just set them aside in a few little bowls until I’m ready to apply them to the pizza crust. I highly recommend sautéing and seasoning crunchy and leafy veggies as well as mushrooms beforehand because it’ll make them more tender and flavorful. You can totally add your toppings raw, but just remember there is no heat coming from the top of the grill (and you cant exactly flip a pizza) so you run the risk of ending up with really raw veggies. Don’t worry about precooking smaller, less dense toppings though or things like capers and olives…or the cheese…obviously. Sorry, I know you’re not an idiot.

Prep the crust.
After rolling it out with plenty of flour or semolina so it doesn’t stick, you’ll need to coat the topside of it with some olive oil. I like to take it a step further and use olive oil that has been mashed with some garlic and diced rosemary and salt and pepper. Also keep in mind that the thinner your crust is the more fragile it is too, so you might want to stay on the thicker side if it’s your first time.

doughprocess

Prep the grill.
Now, you’re not going to put it directly on the grill in its raw form either (it’ll collapse). First cover the grill top with some aluminum and coat it with olive oil like you did the top of the crust. Then slide your raw crust onto the foil-covered grill.

You just have to cook it on the foil until it stiffens up enough to place directly on the grill (a couple minutes pre side depending on how hot your flame is and how thick your crust it). Once the dough starts to rise and become firm, you can either place it directly on the grill or leave it on the foil until it gets some light grill marks on ONE side.

Why grill marks only on one side first? Because that is the side you’ll put your toppings on. The other side should remain less cooked for now because it will be back on the grill in just a second…

So once you’ve got the crust all sauced and topped, you can place the pizza back on the grill (remember, doughier side down…and make sure to keep the flame low). Keep the cover down on the grill to get maximum heat all around, and keep your eye on the crust to make sure it doesn’t burn (flip up the corner every minute or so).

toppingsgrill

The only trick in all of this is not to overcook your crust before your toppings are hot and the cheese melts—there’s nothing worse than cold toppings.

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Recipe

Coop/prep time: 1 hour

You need:

  • Dough
  • Olive oil for coating crust
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic
  • Toppings of choice
  • Aluminum foil

Directions

  1. Prep your toppings: Saute and season crunchy and leafy veggies as well as mushrooms beforehand to make more tender and flavorful. Set aside until ready. * note: You may just add your toppings raw, but remember there is no heat coming from the top of the grill so you run the risk of ending up with really raw veggies.
  2. Prep crust: After rolling out dough with plenty of flour or semolina so it doesn’t stick, coat the topside of it with some olive oil that has been mashed with garlic and diced rosemary and salt and pepper.
  3. Prep the grill: cover the grill top with some aluminum and coat it with olive oil. Then slide your raw crust onto the foil. Cook on the foil until it stiffens up enough to place directly on the grill (a couple minutes pre side depending on how hot your flame is and how thick your crust it). Once the dough starts to rise and become firm, you can place it directly on the grill until it gets some light grill marks on one side.
  4. Once topped, place the pizza back on the grill (remember, doughier side down), close top of grill and to cook until toppings are hot and crust browns.

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2 Comments

  1. Sara
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    Delicious!! I don’t have a grill, what would you recommend in place of a grill?

  2. gabi
    Posted March 31, 2010 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    Your oven will work just fine – just follow the same directions ;)
    If you’re interested in grilling though, small habachi grills are an inexpensive and practical alternative to full size grills. And they work great!

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