Home Cookin’: Grilled Pizza

From Emily: August turned into the new fall (hooray for highs in the low 80s!), and we ate many of our meals outside. One of our favorite things to make was grilled pizza on the BBQ with basil from the backyard.

The Pizzas!

Our process:

First, I rolled out the pizza dough on a floured surface. I spread olive oil on one side of the dough and put the dough onto the pre-heated grill surface, oil-side down. At this stage, the grill is on medium heat. After about 2 minutes, I pull the dough off and bring it back inside to add the toppings. I first spread a little bit of olive oil on the ungrilled side of the dough and then flipped the crusts grilled side up.

On the grilled side of the wheat crust, I spread pesto sauce. We had fontina cheese, so I grated and spread it across the pizza. I cut up some of our tomatoes from the garden across the street – apparently the squirrels only eat our tomatoes – and spread the slices across the pizza. I also tore up some basil on from our rather prodigious basil plants and put that on as well. The pizza would have been delicious just that way, but I cut up some black olives and added them as well. This pizza would have been perfect with sautéed onions, but I didn’t think about that ahead of time.

On the grilled side of the white crust, I spread a tomato-based pizza sauce. I added shredded mozzarella cheese and a bit of the fontina cheese. Rob wanted meat on one of the pizzas, so we quickly grilled a Trader Joe’s sausage, sliced it, and added it to the top of the pizza.

I’m not sure you can tell from the picture, but I did a lot more kneading of the wheat crust than the white crust, so the wheat was more of a thin crust. In contrast, the white crust was more compact and ended up being a lot doughier.

We put the pizzas back on the grill until the cheese melted. We pulled them off, sliced them up, and enjoyed another meal under the stars. Yum!

Below, I’ve written a rough recipe for both the pesto and the tomato sauces. If more precision would be helpful, I am happy to try again and measure the ingredients.

The Pesto:

As my basil seems to double every other day, I end up clearing it out on the weekends. Although I gave a fair amount away to neighbors and colleagues, we are still a bit overrun with basil. The basil explosion has led to a fair amount of pesto making this summer – yay!

For my pesto, I toss all of the basil in the food processor and pulse it until the basil is in tiny pieces. I toast pine nuts on the stovetop for about 3 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown. I add those to the basil, along with sea salt and pepper. I pulse the food processor a few times, and then I slowly pour in olive oil until the pesto looks to be a good consistency. I then add quite a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese, because more cheese = yummier. That’s the kind of girl I am.

Pizza sauce:

This pizza sauce is sweeter than my mom’s sauce recipe that I make for pasta, though that would also taste delicious. However, that recipe takes a long time, and this only takes 4 minutes (forethought and time not necessary). This recipe was inspired by a pizza sauce recipe in Tasty Kitchen. In a small sauce pan, I add a small can (6 oz) of tomato paste. I add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Although I would have added garlic powder and onion powder, I seem to mentally block purchasing those spices whenever I go to the grocery store. Instead, I added dried oregano, garlic salt if I have it, and today, I added dried “pizza seasonings.” I’m not entirely sure what’s in that mix, but I think it includes dried garlic, oregano, basil, among a few other herbs. After letting that quickly come to a boil, I poured in a dash of red wine and a bit of maple syrup. After tasting the sauce, it was good but a little too sweet, so I added about a ¼ cup of red wine vinegar. Once everything was nicely thickened, I turned off the heat, and it was ready to spread.

If anyone wants a more precise recipe for the pesto or tomato sauce with pictures, I can take pictures and more precisely measure out the ingredients.

We were pretty happy with how our pizzas turned out. I’ll probably add a few more recipes for our favorite pizzas in the future.


Our Sous-Chefs working hard and directing us at the grill out back:


~ by Rob Page III on October 28, 2011.

One Response to “Home Cookin’: Grilled Pizza”

  1. Yum. I want try this and great photos. Love the kitties! 🙂

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