Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grilled Pizza

I found a cookbook at the library called "Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas".  I wanted to make EVERY recipe out of the cookbook so I just went ahead and bought it from Amazon!  I first will share with you some of the basic sauces and toppings.  The key is to be creative in your toppings...more on that later!

This sauce is wonderful.  I am not a big tomato fan and was afraid I was not going to like this because it is a fresh sauce, not cooked.  However, I found that I LOVED it!  I did add just a touch more sugar to the sauce to cut the acidity from the tomatoes.

Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce

2 small cloves garlic
8 large fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 pounds (about 3 medium) ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered OR two 14 1/2 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, drained well.
2 TBS tomato paste (or more)
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar

Place the garlic and basil leaves in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add the tomatoes and pulse briefly.  Do not puree the tomatoes, as the sauce is meant to be chunky.  Or chop all by hand.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Stir in the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and sugar until mixed well.  If the sauce looks too watery, add more tomato paste until you see no more juice.

Refrigerate the sauce for an hour to accentuate the flavors.

*  I didn't feel like hauling out the food processor so I just chopped my garlic and basil and used my immersion blender.  Also, I don't care for my sauce to be too chunky.

Makes about 2 cups of sauce, depending on ripeness and juiciness of the tomatoes.

Herbed Grill Oil

This oil is great as a base for almost any pizza.  It takes just a second to make and keeps in the refrigerator indefinitely.  Instead of making up a new batch, just add a bit more olive oil when it starts running low.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil

Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar, mix well, and refrigerate.  If it solidifies, take it out a few minutes early or microwave it at 5-second intervals until it starts to liquefy.

Makes 1/2 cup

Making the pizza

Make your own pizza dough or purchase dough from the grocery store.  Spread out your dough on a board sprinkled with cornmeal.  One ball of dough will make a couple pizzas.  Or you can also grill one large crust and once it is done, cut it into 4 so each person can top their own quarter of the pizza.  Make sure your grill is not too hot.  (You can also use an indoor grill pan instead of grilling outside).  Grease your grill rack with paper towel dipped in oil.  Slide the dough onto the grill.  The dough takes about 3 minutes to cook.  Watch for bubbles.  The crust will be soft at first and tear easily, so try not to touch it.  It soon firms up.  Check the underside to make sure it is done.  Flip it over so the grilled side is face up.  This browned side is now the top of your pizza.  If it chars a bit, don't freak out.  It just adds flavor.

Brush the grilled side of the crust with about 1 TBS of the Herbed Grill Oil.  Don't put too much oil on your pizza or it will be too greasy.  Sprinkle with 1 TBS of grated Parmesan.  Now add about 1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella or Fontina cheese.  Dollop with the Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce.  (a pesto sauce would be good, too).  Drop the sauce by spoonfuls instead of spreading it into an even coat.  Now add your favorite toppings.  Have your toppings already grilled/cooked so all that needs to be done is to heat them on the grill or under the broiler. 

Here are some topping suggestions: 
Roasted red pepper strips, grilled onions, artichoke hearts, sauteed mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves, spinach, sliced jalapeños, prosciutto, salami, bacon, grilled sausage, pepperoni, grilled chicken breast, crumbled Gorgonzola or feta, toasted walnuts, pine nuts, ricotta cheese, fresh cilantro, sun-dried tomatoes.    (ricotta, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh spinach drizzled with reduced balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite pizzas) 

Be creative!  However, less is more.  If you put too many toppings on your pizza, it will be difficult to move. 

After adding the toppings, you may continue to grill your pizza on the grill or place it under the broiler of your oven for several minutes until the toppings are hot and the cheese has melted.


Source:  Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas by Craig W. Priebe with Dianne Jacob


1 comment:

  1. we are finally getting a gas grill tomorrow....our Weber we got as a wedding present didn't make it to this house! I so want to try grilling pizza, so that may just happen next week, or even this weekend!