Pizza on the grill. Really? Really. I always thought it was a crispy, gooey myth, too. The good news is that it’s the real deal: easy, delicious, and a way to keep the oven off on a hot summer night.
Almost every Saturday, we try to have pizza & a movie night. It begins with the kids and I making the dough, which is so ridiculously easy (and so easy for kids to help with) that unless you are out of the house all day, there’s no reason not to try it. It’s fast, and it tastes a whole lot better than most of what you could have delivered and anything that was frozen. The only special ingredient you need is yeast and a little time to let the dough rise (I usually let it rise an hour).
There are plenty of recipes for pizza dough. I’m partial to Mark Bittman but any general interest cookbook will have a few. Make two batches and freeze one for later.
The key to a successful pizza on the grill, to my amateur mind, is to make certain the grates are prepared. Turn your grill on high, and when it is good and hot, scrub it clean.
Roll or stretch your dough into the form you prefer (and that will fit on your grill). I put mine on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper so it would slide off easily.
Take your grill tongs, use them to grab a loose paper towel, and dip the towel into the bowl of canola oil you have waiting. Rub that oily towel all over the grates. When the grates look dry, repeat this step two more times.
Then slide your dough onto the grill to crisp it a bit before you add the toppings. Using a spatula, keep an eye on the underside, and cook it for 30 seconds to one minute (depending on your preference and keeping in mind that you will be putting the dough back on the grill with toppings). Flip the dough and cook it on the other side for the same.
Take the dough of the grill, turn the grill to low, and add the toppings. Best to put the cheese on last as the dough is very hot.
We are swimming in garlic scape pesto, recipe courtesy of Dorie Greenspan. Another google search for garlic scapes yielded a blog called Amuse Bouche , which gave me the inspiration for adding the pesto to pizza and grilling it. So, voilà, pesto on the pizza, with crispy pancetta, kalamata olives and fontina (no tomato sauce on this one). Fontina is our new obsession for pizzas, by the way. It melts perfectly and has a great flavor.
Putting the pizza back on the grill is a bit of a trick, and the parchment paper helps. Just slide it onto the grates, careful not to let the toppings roll off. And then close the lid, and watch the pizza for doneness. It will take a few minutes to get the cheese bubbling and delicious. And it took me two spatulas to get it off the grill.
The result: perfect pizza, cool house, delicious, fast, easy dinner. A winner!