Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grilled Pizza Margherita

Pizza is one of my go to recipes when I am lacking dinner inspiration. I keep supplies of Basic Pizza Dough and Basil Pesto in my freezer for such occasions. The day you plan to make pizza, transfer the dough and pesto to your refrigerator in the morning so they can thaw in time for dinner. Don't forget to take the dough out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to shaping. 

Grilled Pizza Margherita
original recipe by Eating Deliciously

Olive oil for oiling the grates and brushing the dough
All-purpose flour for dusting the cookie sheet or pizza peal
2-3 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced and patted dry
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat a gas grill to 500°F for 15 minutes. Once the grill is hot, dip a tightly folded up bunch of paper towels in olive oil and use tongs to oil the grill grates.

Transfer the pizza dough to a lightly floured work surface.  Shape the dough into a round. Note: you can prepare several pizza dough rounds and stack them separated by parchment paper. Store the dough rounds in the refrigerator for up to two hours before cooking.

Place a dough round on a lightly floured (rimless) cookie sheet or pizza peel. Slide the dough off the cookie sheet onto the hot grill grates. Close the lid of the grill and let cook for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, open the grill and check underneath the dough to see if it is getting browned. If it is on one side, but not another, use a spatula or tongs to rotate the dough and cook for another minute. If it is not brown, cover the grill and continue to cook a minute at a time until the bottom has begun to brown. The top of the pizza dough will start to bubble up with air pockets.

Once the pizza dough has browned on one side, use your cookie sheet or pizza peel to remove it from the grill. Flip the dough over so that the grilled side is up. Keep the grill covered to retain its heat.

Spread the grilled surface of the pizza with basil pesto. Layer the tomato slices then mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan. Go light on the toppings or the pizza will be heavy and soggy.

Slide the topped pizza back onto the grill and reduce the heat. Close the lid and cook for 2-4 minutes or until the bottom begins to char and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove the pizza using your cookie sheet or pizza peal and a spatula. Let rest for a few minutes before cutting into slices and serving.