5.16.14 Pizza on the Grill + Best Ever Pizza Sauce
So, after a long cold winter of disuse, I’m happy to report that our grill has survived and is back in service. And it’s been working overtime. I really missed it. There was a brief (but terrifying) period of time this winter when I feared the grill may have disappeared, only to find to my relief that it had only been swallowed by a giant snowdrift. It’s since thawed, and has been responsible for many delicious meals over the past couple of weeks. So many delicious things have been coming off of my little Weber - veggies, brats, and most importantly pizza. Yes, pizza.
If you know me, you know I’m somewhat of a pizza freak. So the day when I figured out that you could make pizza on the grill was a wonderful, wonderful day. And really it makes perfect sense. With the grill, you can get enough heat to cook the crust through (with some lovely smokey charring) and melt your toppings to perfection, which believe me is no mean feat. In an oven, which can’t reach the high temps achieved by your grill, this is much harder and can really only be achieved with a super thin crust. If you’re craving a slightly thicker crust, well, the grill is most definitely the way to go.
And it’s easier than you might think. Make up some dough (or buy some premade in a pinch), and heat up your grill to medium-low heat. You don’t want to go too hot, or you’ll scorch the crap out of your crust (I’ve learned this the hard way). Stretch out your dough, brush with olive oil, and throw it on the grill (olive oil side down). Yes, right on the grate. Just make sure not to skimp on the olive oil - we don’t want any sticking here! Cook until the bottom browns/chars slightly and the crust starts to bubble. Give the top of the crust a good brush of olive oil, flip, and add your toppings. Cover the grill, and cook until cheese is melted. (hint: if you want a little browning on your cheese, throw your pizza under the broiler for a couple of minutes after taking it off the grill) Presto, grilled pizza. Easy, right?
Now, while pizza on the grill IS easy to make, you do have to be prepared. Have your olive oil, sauce, and all of our toppings handy - you’ll need to top your pizza quickly. And until you hone your pizza grilling skills, it’s easiest to start with making a few smaller pizzas, rather than one large one, as small pizzas are easier to flip. But also, we all know personal pizzas are way more fun anyway because you can try out more awesome topping combinations. Speaking of which, here are a few of my faves:
- peperone, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, mozzarella
- spinach, cremini mushrooms, feta, cherry tomatoes, crushed red pepper, fresh mozzarella
- Italian sausage, fresh tomato, pepperoncini, goat cheese, mozzarella
- basil pesto, roasted red peppers, olives, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, feta
- bacon, tomato, garlic, gorgonzola, and arugula
- smoked gouda, bacon, red onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado
Oh, and the SAUCE. Very important. A good crust makes a good pizza, but likewise, a good sauce is integral in creating a top notch pie. And I’ve developed a pretty fantastic pizza sauce recipe. Not only is it delicious, but it takes less than 5 minutes to make! And please, if you can get your hands on some 'nduja (a spicy, Calabrian spreadable salami) from Underground Meats, you absolutely have to add it to your sauce. Trust me, it’s awesome. So fire up your grill, crack open a beer, and you’ll have some tasty pizza heading your way before you know it.
Best Ever Pizza Sauce
makes about 2 ½ cups
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (such as Muir Glen)
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1-2 oz ‘nduja (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender (works great with an immersion blender too), and blend until everything is mixed and has a smooth consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.