Not only is pizza fantastic on the grill, grilled veggies are fantastic on pizza – the high intense heat chars and caramelizes the natural sugars in fresh veg, intensifying flavors and transforming them into perfectly summery pizza toppings. Once everything is ready to go, you can grill your pizza on the preheated grill, and dinner will be done in five minutes.
Grill any kind of veg you like – chunks of red pepper, slices of zucchini, and wedges of purple onion work particularly well. Toss your vegetable chunks or strips (cut large enough that they won’t fall into the grill) with olive or canola oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill directly on a preheated grill, turning with tongs, until soft and char-marked on the edges, 5-10 minutes.
To make your pizza, roll your dough into a large circle, fairly thin (it will puff as it cooks). Toss rolled out dough directly onto the grill. When it turns golden and crisp with char-marks on the bottom, flip with tongs and turn the heat down to medium-low. Quickly spread tomato sauce on top, scatter with grilled veggies and cheese and close the lid; cook for a minute or two, until the cheese melts.
Basic Pizza Dough
1 cup lukewarm water
1 pkg. (or 2 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar or honey
2 1/2 – 3 cups flour – all purpose, whole wheat, or any combination of the two
1 tsp. salt
a drizzle (1 tsp. – 1 Tbsp.) olive oil
In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar; set aside for 5 minutes, until it’s foamy. (If it doesn’t get foamy, either your water was too hot and killed the yeast or it was inactive to begin with – toss it and buy fresh yeast or try again!)
Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, salt and oil and stir until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 8 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat all over. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in bulk. If you want you can let it rise more slowly in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
Punch the dough down, cover again and let it rest for 5 minutes. Divide it in half and shape each into a circle (or make individual mini pizzas) and place on a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with flour or cornmeal.
To bake in the oven: spread the pizza dough with tomato sauce, sprinkle with desired toppings and bake at 450 F for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and golden.
To cook on the grill: preheat your grill to medium-high. Toss rolled out dough directly onto the grill. When it turns golden and crisp with char-marks on the bottom, flip with tongs and turn the heat down to medium-low. Quickly spread toppings on top, scatter with cheese and close the lid; cook for a minute or two, until the cheese melts.
Makes enough dough for 2 large pizzas.
Pizza all summer long: try these 13 light Italian bites!