If you don’t have a pizza oven, the grill is the next best heat source for the kind of pizza that might get written up in New York magazine as like, the best ever and “I can’t believe you never heard of this place!” A crisp exterior with a chewy and airy bite that’s just this side of burnt – to me that is pizza perfection. I’ve learned my way around the grill over the years, after many misfires resulting in folded, ripped and otherwise no-fun pizza crusts, so here’s a couple of things I picked up. Any standard pizza crust should do, I use the one from Vegan With A Vengeance.
Lana showcases a rather toast-shaped pizza with grilled zuke, avocado and pesto
First off, forget about circles. In fact, forget about any shape you know. Instead of thinking your crust looks deformed think “rustic” and your grilled pizzas will be a different kind of perfect everytime.
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Throw some cornmeal onto a large cutting board, then press and roll the dough into a free-form shape. If you’re grilling it’s a safe bet that it’s warm outside, and so your dough is going to be floppy. It helps to keep the dough refrigerated until ready to use, that way it doesn’t flap in the breeze like so much laundry on the line when it comes time to grill it. I keep the dough kind of thick, too. It’s just easier to handle that way.
Brush some olive oil onto the top then carefully, but not too carefully, flip the crust onto the grill oiled side down. If you try to flip the dough and it immediately starts folding over or sticking, then stick it back into the fridge, cutting board and all, for just a few minutes.
Cook for about 5 minutes, rotating with a spatula once in awhile for even heating. It should be nice and dark with a few grill marks on the bottom. Flip the crust and add the toppings.
It’s important not to go too crazy with the sauce and toppings, you don’t want a soggy pizza or a droopy crust – it’s not a hammock, it’s a pizza. Shut the lid if you’re using cheeze, but if it still doesn’t melt, pop it in the oven broiler for a few.
The lovely Emiko with a pizza so bright she had to wear shades.
For toppings I love to use whatever is seasonal, right now that’s asparagus, zucchini – we even have some early summer peaches!
Peaches, kalamata olives, garlic and herbs from my garden
Grilled asparagus, toasted pine nuts, homemade sausages, fresh tomatoes
Oh, and before I get barraged – the cheeze is a mix of Teese and Cheezly, both available at FoodFightGrocery.com.
Now get out there and you go grill!