Hello Hello. It’s been a little while. This time I don’t have the excuse that I am spending time with my husband before he leaves on a 3-week trip for work (1 more week left to go!). No, I can only blame it on the weather. It’s been too nice out to sit in front of a computer. I’m enjoying soaking up the sun on my balcony, on my bike, and outdoors with family and friends. Summer has finally arrived for good! The herbs in the pots on my balcony are happy. They’ve been liking the long sunny days as well. The mint is looking a little scraggly though – it may have been raided last night for strawberry mojitos! Good thing I always grow multiple pots of the gloriously versatile herb in the summer.
I also haven’t wanted to cook much due to the heat. Who wants to turn on the stove or stand in front of a hot barbeque when the mercury is rising? All I care to do is open up the fridge, chop up some lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes & mint and drizzle over lemon juice and olive oil. Then lazily sit outside and eat. But this isn’t much of an excuse either. Because I have lots of recipes saved up to share with you. So I’m taking advantage of the smoke from a nearby forest fire diffusing the light from the sun to sit outside and type.
For those of you dying for homemade pizza, but refusing to turn on the oven, here’s a gem for you. If you haven’t tried barbequing pizza, DO IT NOW. Make some dough yourself. Go buy some pre-made dough. Or hell, buy a pizza shell. Just start grilling your pies. I’m sharing our favourite pizza with you today, but try this method with the toppings you like best if you prefer. I’m sure you’ll be making this again and again, so you’ll get to our pizza soon enough. We BBQ’d this the first time because we were craving pizza, but it was hot outside. And now, when it’s 40 below out, I’ll be wrestling with the cold and the BBQ to keep cooking pizzas like this. The char on the pizza was the closest thing I’ve made that resembles those cooked in traditional wood ovens. It was magnificent.
I definitely recommend making this with raw pizza dough; however, the last time Kyle’s mom was in town she BBQ’d a pizza using a pre-made shell and it still tasted great. But to get that traditional wood-fired taste go with raw dough. The first time we tried this, we grilled one side of the dough, then took the pie off the grill. I put the toppings on the grilled side, then placed the pizza back on the BBQ to grill the raw side. I was curious if it was worth the extra step to grill both sides. So the other day I performed an experiment: I split the dough in half and made 2 8″ pizzas instead of one 12″. One pizza was topped and placed on the BBQ – so only one side got grilled. The other was BBQ’d the way I had the first time. The result: the toppings on the pizza placed directly on the grill were a bit more cooked, but the pizza was soggy. The other pizza was crispy and perfect – even if the toppings didn’t get as much time to cook. I will continue to use the double-sided grilling method.
By-the-way, the pizza that I had made the other day during the “experiment” won’t be shared. I made a ricotta based pizza topped with zucchini and asparagus. Seemed like a good idea, but it was bland. I think drizzling it with balsamic would have helped….maybe even more salt. And definitely covering the asparagus with cheese so the buggers didn’t roll off the pie would have been a good idea. It was edible, but it wasn’t great. So I apologize, but you won’t be seeing it on here.
Now go forth: get your dough rising and fire up your grill. And Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible Dad’s out there!
Proscuitto, Artichoke, & Tomato Pizza – Barbequed
The steps may seem long here. Skips steps if you like – trust your instincts and grill the way you want to. But this is how I made my pizza, and the method is here for you in order to get the same result. Don’t be intimidated – it’s really just a lot of chatter, not a lot of work.
dough for 12″ pizza (your own or store-bought)*
1/4 cup pesto
5-6 slices prosciutto salami or regular salami
2-3 slices prosciutto, cut into strips
2-3 canned artichokes, thinly sliced (because I’m not messing with raw ones for pizza)
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 small tomato, thinly sliced
Prepare BBQ. You’re going to do some semi-indirect grilling here. One side will be on med-high to keep the temperature inside the grill with the lid down hot. But you’re going to want the side you put the pizza on to be on low to med-low (depending on how hot your grill gets). If it’s too hot, your dough will burn before it’s cooked through. Don’t be afraid. Pizza dough is cheap if you mess this up. But you won’t. Plus a Pizza Place is just a phone call away.
Roll out your dough to 12″ (I use a mat that someone gave me as a gift for this…because if I don’t, then my crust ends up at a massive 16″ and I wonder why it won’t fit on my pizza stone). Sprinkle corn meal on a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet. With a fork, poke holes all over the dough – this will prevent your crust from bubbling up too much when you grill the first side. Now brush olive oil all over the top side. Place the oiled side down on the pizza peel/baking sheet. Oil the top side (and maybe poke a few more holes…to be on the safe side).
Slide the pizza onto the cooler side of the BBQ, and close the lid. Grill the first side for approximately 3-5 minutes – until the pizza is puffing up and you can easily lift it up and see that there are grill marks on the bottom. If your pizza is stuck on – leave it on for a minute or two longer. **While the pizza is grilling on the first side, sprinkle your pizza peel/baking sheet with more cornmeal** With tongs or a flipper, place the uncooked side of the crust down on the pizza peel/baking sheet. Top the pizza with the toppings – your favourite, or the ones in the recipe in the order listed. Place the pizza back on the BBQ and close the lid. Grill for 6-10 minutes more until the bottom is getting slightly charred and the cheese is melted.
Let your pizza rest for a few minutes so the cheese can set (otherwise you’ll lose all your toppings to the middle of the pizza…or worse, to the cutting board). Slice the pizza as you wish: 8 slices, 6, 4, 2…
Serves ? How can I say how many this serves? I don’t know how much pizza you like or what you’re going to eat it with. How about: serves 4 people if they eat salad with it. But trust me – Kyle & I could have polished this one off all on our own.
* You can find pizza dough in the freezer section of your grocery. If using a Pre-made Pizza Shell, you will only need to grill one side. So put your toppings on, place the pizza on the cooler side of the BBQ and grill for approximately 10-15 minutes.