Last week Ben and I were watching Man vs Food Nation in bed (does anyone else find that show less satisfying now that Adam’s doling out all the competitive eating responsibilities? PS – Adam, call me.)
Anyway, we’re watching MVFN in bed when Adam visited Bob & Timmy’s Grilled Pizza shop in Smithfield, RI, and things got a little nuts.
We’re shown one grilled pizza after another. Hot, charred and dripping with cheese. One in particular caught my eye. The Vegetable Medley.
Think fresh pizza dough marinated in seasoned olive oil and thrown on a hot grill before mounds of fresh and roasted vegetables and unethical amounts of cheese are piled on top. Glorious, glorious cheese! Parmesan, goat, feta and God knows what else.
I was inspired.
One problem – the last time I tried to grill pizza circa 2009, my pizza dough – which, admittedly, was Pillsbury brand and from a can – turned into something resembling a charred meteorite. Burnt and misshapen on the outside, raw and doughy on the inside.
I figured it’d been nearly three years since I last gave it a go though, and time had surely made me smarter and more skilled at the grill, right? Fingers crossed?
There was only one way to find out for sure, of course, and that was to make Grilled Pesto Goat Cheese Pizza for dinner tonight!
First I prepped my pizza dough. This time I used Trader Joe’s dough because it is cheap, tasty and as close to homemade as this girl’s gonna get. Those are pretty good reasons, I feel.
I drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil into a small bowl then added the pizza dough and tossed it to coat, then let it sit and and warm up a bit from the coldness of the fridge. Cold pizza dough is super hard to stretch!
While the dough was resting, I got to work on the pesto I used in place of traditional pizza sauce. Garlicky and summery – this pesto added a great big burst of flavor to the pizza.
I used my standard pesto recipe, subbing in almonds in place of walnuts,
pesto! (sorry, I had to.)
With the dough prepped, and the sauce made, I gathered my pizza toppings and headed out to the grill.
Let’s see, what do we have here…sautéed mushrooms (for Ben!)
sautéed Trader Joe’s Spicy Italian Wine & Cheese Chicken Sausages (BOMB!)
garden-fresh cherry tomatoes,
fresh sweet corn,
green onions and artichoke hearts.
Oh and goat cheese! I almost forget about the goat cheese.
While I let the grill heat on medium-low, I stretched the dough out into a large rectangle, then popped it on the grates and let it cook until the bottom turned brown, and the top, bubbly.
Then I placed it grilled-side-up on a plate and added my sauce and toppings. Pesto and sausage,
artichokes and sweet corn,
cherry tomatoes and goat cheese,
followed by a sprinkling of green onion.
I slid the pizza back on the grill with a large spatula and let it cook for another couple of minutes with the lid down.
Just enough time to get the bottom side browned, and the toppings nice and warm.
A few minutes later – presto…pizza!
SO much better than last time!
I think the key to success is decent dough and low heat.
And of course, super-fresh and in-season ingredients.
The pizza crust was charred and smoky on the outside, but chewy and creamy on the inside.
Can you imagine how yum this would be with grilled avocado on top? My mind is spinning with the endless flavor combo possibilities.
Have you ever tried to grill pizza?