For the winner of the fair trade giveaway, see below!
When I worked with the wild San Clemente Loggerhead shrikes on San Clemente Island, off the coast of California, one of the biologists on the native plant crew loved to make grilled pizza. I honestly don’t remember what it was like (that was 7 years ago now!) but when I started thinking of grilling ideas, grilled pizza came to mind.
I had no idea how it worked, so I set to googling and found two good how-to guides, one at Simply Recipes and one at Serious Eats. If you want a ton of details, go check those out. I didn’t follow all of their rules, but my pizza turned out great. Again, this is something we will grill again this summer!
Why grill pizza? It cooks quickly– only a couple of minutes per side. The crust comes out crisper than baked pizza, with a slightly smoky flavour. Also, no oven to heat up during the heat of summer.
But do note that because the crust cooks so quickly, you will have to pre-cook some of your toppings. We sautéed our mushrooms and peppers. Other toppings we used were chopped baby spinach, diced tomato, crumbled feta, and shredded mozzarella. To help with the heating process, I preheated the pizza sauce.
The following recipe is my basic pizza crust recipe, but your personal recipe should work fine as well.
(makes 3 individual pizzas)
¾ cup warm water (100 °F)
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
olive oil for brushing pizza
pizza sauce of choice, toppings of choice, and cheese of choice
Combine water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl; stir to dissolve yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and olive oil, then add the cornmeal and 3/4 cup flour. Mix until smooth. Continue working flour, 1/4 cup at a time, into the dough until all the flour is incorporated. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. (I added slightly more flour to make the dough a bit stiffer for grilling.) Wash bowl, then coat it with oil, place dough in bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a towel and place in warm spot until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Punch down, divide into 3 pieces, and roll or gently press into 3 pizzas.
Meanwhile, preheat grill to high. Also meanwhile, prepare toppings. Pre-cook any items as necessary and arrange all on a plate for ease of topping. Preheat pizza sauce.
When grill is hot, brush dough with olive oil if desired. (I forgot on one and it didn’t stick.) Place on grill and close lid, grill approximately 2 minutes, or until lightly charred. Remove from grill, flip, and place on a plate or tray. Spread with pizza sauce, layer toppings on, and sprinkle with cheese. Return to grill and cook another 2 minutes, lid closed, or until bottom is lightly charred and cheese melts. You can put the pizzas on the upper rack with the lid closed to melt the cheese if the bottom is getting too burnt.
Have you ever grilled pizza? What do you like on it?
And finally… the randomly chosen winner of the fair trade giveaway is… Val! I will be in touch. Thank you to everyone who entered and especially for making the choice to learn about, share about, and purchase fair trade products.