Wednesday, June 15, 2011

grilled margherita pizza.

i really don't know what gets better then grilling and pizza, well i do it is to combine the two. now that my tomatoes are turning red, and the basil is growing faster than i can use it, margherita pizza is the perfect way to use both. last summer, matt and i began experimenting with the idea of making pizza on the grill and to be honest i just winged it and have perfected the technique each time. tip one: don't worry about the shape, it all tastes the same. tip two: lightly salt tomatoes and allow to drain any moisture prior to adding to the pizza, this will prevent a soggy crust. tip three: start small, making two smaller pizzas is more manageable until you get the hang of it. tip four: experiment with toppings, matt adds sausage and pepperoni, just be sure to precook and drain any meat toppings. tip five: make the dough thinner than you would expect, but not so thin it is hard to handle. enjoy!

1 pound pizza dough (or one bag premade pizza dough from local grocery store)
1/2 cup flour
1 jar premade pizza sauce
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 3/4 pound)
fresh parmesan cheese, grated
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat grill on high for 10 minutes.

2. When ready to shape dough, flour work surface and divide dough into equal parts (depending on ideal pizza size).  Working with one ball of dough at at time, flatten into disk and use your fingertips to shape the dough outwards from the center.   Continue turning and stretching the dough until you have an 8 inch diameter.  Transfer the dough to the back of a baking sheet or parchment paper – and cover until ready to grill.
3. Gather all of the ingredients that you will need onto a tray – and have that next to your grill for easy access.

4. Brush tops of dough with olive oil and sprinkle on salt. Reduce heat to medium and carefully transfer on the the dough rounds onto the grill, oiled side down.

5. Grill for about 2 minutes or until dark grill marks appear.  Brush tops with oil and use tongs to flip over dough.   Cook until golden brown and remove from grill – and repeat with remaining dough rounds.

6. Off the grill – arrange the toppings on the dough – sauce, cheese, parmesan, basil, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Slide back onto grill, and close the lid for about 2 minutes – until cheese is melted.

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