Grilled Cheese Pizza

This summer I discovered the wonderful world of grilled pizzas. Conventional ovens just can't cook a pizza well. And it just isn't practical to build a brick oven in my tiny 14th floor condo. Grilled pizzas are a wonderful alternative. They have the charred taste that makes even a simple cheese pizza explode with flavor.

Grilling a pizza does take a little bit of practice. The pizza crust is grilled on both sides - when the second side is cooking, the toppings are added and they cook too. For the first side, the grill should be fairly hot, about 350-400 degrees. I've found it is easier to make two personal-sized pizzas instead of one medium-sized pizza; the dough flops around less. The purchased pizza crusts also work fabulously.

The second side will require a slightly cooler grill so that the toppings cook at the same pace as the crust. Depending on your grill, it may make sense to leave one side on high and the other side on low, cooking the pizza over indirect heat. I use a gas grill, and I have two of the three burners on. They are on high when cooking the first side and on medium to medium-high when cooking the second side.

When cooking the second side, you want to make sure the grill is warm enough to melt the cheese. It should be not too hot so as the bottom burns before the cheese has melted and not to cool so that the crust is still raw in the middle. The temperature really depends on how thick your crust is. The thinner the crust, the hotter it can be because it needs less time to cook.

The whole cooking process takes about 15 minutes: 5 minutes on side one and 10 minutes on side two.

Today was our CSA day! We got a lot of wonderful veggies in our box this week!

In one of those plastic bags is edamame! I was just wondering the other day if it could be grown in this area. I might have to start growing it myself!

Spigariello greens; it's supposed to be similar to broccoli even though it looks a lot like kale.

These are either Orange Ukraine Peppers or Pimento Peppers, I'm not sure which.

Grilled Cheese Pizza
Serves 3 (or two really hungry people)

1 12-inch crust raw pizza dough (I had made some pizza dough a few weeks ago and froze it. When I got home from work, I let it sit out on the counter for a couple of hours to defrost)
1 gigantic tomato (or 3 medium tomatoes), coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mixture of monterey jack, tomato basil cheddar, and parmesan)
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon oil
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and let cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomato and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomato breaks down and mixes with the onion and garlic. Stir in the parsley and cook for another couple minutes. Remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender (or food processor). When smooth, taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  2. Roll the pizza dough to 1/4 inch thick, or about 12 inches. Brush one side with oil and place that side down on a 350 degree grill. After about 3-5 minutes, check to see if it is browned to your liking. Remove from heat, brush the raw side with oil and flip the crust over. 
  3. Top the cooked side of the crust with 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the chopped oregano over the sauce. Top with the shredded cheese.
  4. Return the pizza to the grill and cook over medium/medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes, watching carefully to ensure the crust is cooking properly.
  5. Remove from heat when the cheese has melted and the crust has browned on the bottom. Let sit a couple minutes before cutting and devouring. Enjoy!

Labels: , ,