My Pirate and My Kid helped me taste-test grilled pizzas this afternoon after planting The Victory Garden. Don’t be fooled, My Kid showed up after the planting, because he’s no dummy. My Pirate and I smelled faintly like organic fertilizer, tomato leaves, and compost but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our lunch together.
While My Pirate and My Kid were chatting on the front sidewalk, I rambled inside, cooed at the dogs, and washed my hands a couple of times. Then, with a whoosh of flame I turned on My Girl Grill (Weber Q 300). I threw some flour down on the counter and rolled out three dough rounds. I grilled the dough rounds and then we had fun topping our pizzas while talking smack about our different pizza styles. I’m a purist and lightly top mine, while My Pirate employs the kitchen sink approach. And My Kid claims to land somewhere in the middle, but he has a culinary flair for the dramatic and substituted pesto as his sauce, finding the red sauce derivative. Or so I tease.
We carefully and quickly slid our pizzas onto the grill. It was a tight fit. I closed the lid, turned off the heat and waited for the cheese to melt. A very long six minutes. Then we pulled the pizzas out onto a peel and a cutting board. I photographed them and we gasped in shock and then laughed when Barnaby almost succeeded in flipping over the peel with 2 pizzas on it. My Pirate saved our lunch! Then we rolled a pizza cutter over our pizzas and devoured them while commenting on our pizzas. We all came to the conclusion that we need to make it again soon. You know, just to perfect our topping combinations.
by Laura Heldreth
If you don’t have homemade pizza dough on hand, you can use a store bought dough, flat bread, tortilla, or even an English muffin. Peter Reinhart recommends using a pizza stone, but I don’t. Play with the ingredients and let your appetite guide you. The fun of this meal is that everyone gets to make their very own creation, so no suggestions or complaints!
Pizza dough--I love using Peter Reinhart's recipe, but I use Trader Joe's dough in a pinch.
Sauce—spaghetti, Alfredo, pesto, olive oil, salad dressing…
Veggies—canned roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, olives…
Fresh herbs—basil, oregano, fennel…
Meats—salami, pepperoni, cooked sausage or hamburger, cooked chicken…
Cheese—parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar…
Red pepper flakes
Sit the defrosted pizza dough sit out of the fridge for up to two hours. I prefer one hour.
Preheat the gas grill on high while you roll out the pizza dough into individual rounds, about five to ten minutes.
Spread the dough out on a floured cutting board with your flour coated fingertips. Finish rolling it out with a rolling pin or toss it on your knuckles. Place the dough rounds on the grill and cook until brown grill marks appear and the dough bubbles. Turn over. Then cook until it is faintly browned. Remove from the grill. Place the top down on the grill and drop the heat to medium.
Take the cooked dough rounds and top the side with the grill marks. Top the dough rounds sparingly with your favorite toppings. The trick is to not overload the pizza so that the dough remains crisp and the cheese melts evenly. Place the pizza’s back on the grill. Shut the lid. And turn the heat off. Wait five to ten minutes for the cheese to melt and then they are ready to devour.