a girl and her grill

How do you grill on a really hot day? Jump in the pool first. Have the Mike’s Hard Lemonade resting on one side of the grill.

We had some friends over last summer, who stayed for dinner, after a day of kids in the pool. We chatted and gathered ingredients for dinner. Before you know it our friend said, “Wait a minute. Did you just make a pizza on the grill. You can make pizza on the grill?” Of course.

The key is to have one part of your grill as a space for direct heat and one area for indirect heat. That simply means flames on side and not on the other. And keep the pizza small. If the pizza itself is too large in size it’s difficult to handle.

You can buy pizza dough at the market from the refrigerator section. For the sauce, you can sauté onions and garlic in olive oil, and add a can of crushed tomatoes. We put some fresh oregano in the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes. For a really smooth sauce, you can puree in the blender.

The key is to use quality cheese. We use a mix of texture and cheeses with a soft blend of Fontina, a mild Provolone, and mozzarella. We blend the soft cheeses with some shards of nutty Parmesan, Romano, and tangy Asiago.  Poor quality cheese will make your pizza greasy. When you’re using a handful of ingredients, they should be top-notch since their flavors will stand out.

Divide dough in half to make two pizza pies. Coat with a little olive oil and begin to stretch the dough. Toss dough on the part of your grill with the flames underneath. Just make sure to place the oiled side of dough face down. Go with any shape that forms. Now, brush oil on the side facing up. When you see bubbles start to form, flip the pie. Give it about ten seconds and slide pie to the part of the grill with no flames underneath.

Spread sauce on the pie leaving an edge all around for the crust. Layer with the different cheeses. Add some oregano leaves, but not the basil yet. The oregano can stand up to the heat of the grill. Close the cover and allow the cheeses to melt together. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.

Scatter some torn basil leaves over the top and allow to cool for a few minutes. Follow the shape of your pizza and slice into pieces.

The underlying smoky flavor the grill gives the pizza adds a twist to your traditional pizza. The sweet perfume of the basil is warmed by the melted cheese. The grill gives the crust a crunchy and chewy crust to highlight the fresh ingredients. Time for another cold one.

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