Grilling out on the 4th—with Pizza

I checked out a cookbook from the library on a friend’s recommendation—The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman—and one page immediately caught my attention.  The Grilled Pizza recipe in the “Pizza and Pasta” section seemed too interesting to pass by untried. I have a pretty good gas grill, a garden full of tomatoes and basil, and pizza dough in the fridge (The recipe does include a section on making the dough, but I wanted to try out the quick-and-dirty version).  The results?  Tastes great, less pretty. First, I made a grilled pizza for the kids that was basic sauce and cheese. While it was simple and quick to make, it looked hideous. The kids didn’t seem to care, though, since it tasted wonderful.

 

Margherita pizza on the left, kids pizza on the right

 

Learning from the first pizza (always best to experiment on the under-developed palates first), I changed things up a bit for the tomato-basil Margherita version and it came out considerably more pizza-looking than the first. Here is the gist of what I learned: when using refrigerated pizza dough, do not separate it into halves and leave it in an oiled bowl for an hour as the recipe suggests. Roll it out with some flour, oil it, and throw it on the grill.

Side note: The Mom 100 Cookbook is a good one, so far. I like the way Workman separates the sections by need—i.e., potluck, mixed company dinners, bake sale. It’s easy to navigate, and she calls out recipes for picky eaters and ways to bring the kids into the kitchen to help prepare the meal.

Next time, I’ll either make the dough myself or buy a hunk from a nearby pizza place. But in a pinch, the pre-made stuff works fine. If you are hosting people this 4th of July, why not provide an alternative to burgers and dogs, especially for the vegetarians? After all, how many veggie patties can a person eat in one lifetime? Grilled pizza will, at the least, provide some additional conversation starters at your cook-out.

Grilled Pizza (serves 4)

INGREDIENTS

1 can of refrigerated pizza dough

Olive Oil

Cornmeal or flour

1C tomato sauce

2C (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese (fresh is best)

1.5C toppings

1/4C slivered basil leaves (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Roll out pizza dough on a surface with flour. Stretch or pull it into a 12-inch rectangle or circle. You’ll need to give the dough some breaks in between stretches. It will puff up on the grill, so don’t worry if it’s only ¼-inch think or if there are holes in some parts.
  2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high
  4. Pour tomato sauce into one bowl, cheese in another, and toppings in another. Bring bowls, oil, pastry brush and baking sheets with dough to the grill.
  5. Brush the top of the dough with oil.
  6. Swiftly pick up the dough and flip it, oil-side-down, onto the grill grate. Close the grill cover and wait 3 minutes.
  7. Once grill marks have formed, brush uncooked top side with oil and turn over the crust. Lower the heat to medium-low.
  8. Carefully brush surface with tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and add toppings.
  9. Close the cover and cook for 4 minutes more. Once cheese is completely melted and crust is brown on the underside. Remove the pizza from the grill, sprinkle with fresh basil, and cut into pieces.

What are your favorite vegetarian grill-out meals? Tell us what you are planning to cook for the 4th, and have a great holiday!

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