A few weeks ago, I had a small event to celebrate the release of a small NYC movie. In addition to all those luscious cosmopolitans (recipe to come shortly), I decided to grill some pizzas before we buzzed up to the movie theater. I’ve always grilled my pizzas and am constantly surprised to hear of so few people who do. Since Deb at Smitten Kitchen presented several pizza recipes last week, I was inspired to share mine.
Grilling pizzas is as easy as (pardon me, folks) pie, especially if you don’t have to make the dough. I know how to make dough but why make it when there are so many fabulous pizza parlors near my house? I buy a few balls of dough and keep them in the freezer for last minute parties. These were made from fresh dough so required just a little kneading and rolling to make a good shape on which to pile my goodies.
Know that pizza goodies come in all shapes and sizes. I often make these grilled pies with whatever leftovers I have in the fridge. If we made zucchini the night before, I chop a little of that up to dress the dough. If we had tomatoes, corn or asparagus, I sprinkle that on the pie. It truly is up to you and whatever is sitting in your fridge. I happened to have some wild mushrooms and briny olives, and they happen to go nicely together, lucky me!
But before piling on the toppings, I brushed olive oil on one side of my flattened pizza dough and placed that oiled side directly on the grates of my gas grill, preheated to about 400 degrees. (Gas is not my first choice, but it’s quick and we hand to rush to squeeze into long lines at the theater.) Close the grill lid for 4-5 minutes while crispy grill marks form on the underside of the dough. Brush a little olive oil on the non-grilled side and turn the pizza with tongs and gusto (and quickly, so you don’t burn your hands).
I really don’t love tomato sauce on my pizzas. I think it has something to do with growing up in New Jersey around the corner from the best little Neapolitan pizza parlor and overdosing on their pepperoni pie at a very young age. I matured into a white pizza gal and, in this case, a green pizza gal. I had made some vibrant basil pesto the day before and spread a thin layer on the dough.
On top of the pesto, I layered some pre-sauteed wild mushrooms, pitted kalamata olives and mozzarella cheese. With a quick drizzle of olive oil, I closed the lid on the grill for another 4-5 minutes while the cheese oozed into melty goodness.
I made two pizzas for this little party. One had olives and one did not, because while my husband was not celebrating the release of this little movie, he was indeed celebrating pizza and cannot stand the brininess of olives on anything. So I threw him a bone, and a pie, with extra mozzarella and a little goat cheese.
Once the pizza is melty and gooey, I slid it onto a big white platter and sliced it up into 4-bite slivers. Before serving, I quickly dressed a few pea sprouts with lemon juice and olive oil. A little pile of pea sprouts on top delivers a nice fresh zing against the rich pie.
Thank you to my dear friend Lise for taking such nice photos!