Place of Origin: United States
By Julianne Keskey
Ah… pizza. There is much debate as to where this beautiful, disc-shaped heaven originated. Most would say Italy; Naples to be exact. However, back in ancient times the Greeks, Egyptians, Armenians, Israelis, and Babylonians would cook a pizza of sorts. Flat bread was tossed in mud ovens and eaten as a cheap meal for hungry workingmen. In my opinion, the addition of tomatoes was a pretty integral part in what we all know today as pizza and who did that you may ask? Italians. And if you’d like a fantastic Italian culinary experience, check out our tour of Puglia.
I’ve indulged in pizzas of all kinds. Frozen pizza, Chicago deep-dish, Midwest-style, Sicilian, white pizza, and the sweet glory of New York pizza. Living in Manhattan and Brooklyn for six and a half years, I was able to indulge in everything from the $1 slice on a walk home from a night of bar fun to the brick-oven fired pie at a wonderful restaurant just a few blocks from my Brooklyn brownstone. I’ve had some absolutely fantastic slices in my life and I’m here to tell you something. Grilled is one of the best I’ve ever had and it was created right here in the United States.
I truly enjoy the satisfaction of recreating all types of cuisine at home. Homemade pizza isn’t a new territory for me and my first encounter was running down to my neighbors every Friday when I was a little girl and devouring her fantastic handmade pies. I’ve heard of grilling pizza for a while now and it seemed like an idea that was just way too cool to be real… until now.
Grilling, to me, is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get a delicious, crunchy on the bottom, chewy in the center pizza. I’ve become pretty reliant on my pellet grill/smoker. They make grilling so incredibly easy! I’m not a fan of propane and charcoal is just too time consuming for me on nights that I just need to have a grilled meal. Wood pellets add a nice smokey flavor to your food yet still get the grill hot enough to adorn anything you throw in there with lovely little grill marks. This is what I used to grill my pizza and this new recipe has been added to my meal rotation.
I was so caught up in the excitement of making pizza on the grill that I only took one picture. To be honest, I’m surprised I took the time to even snap a photograph of the finished product before diving in.
Because there are so many different routes you can go with pizza, I have not added measurements. Let the pizza gods be your guide!
Here’s the recipe for Grilled Pizza.
-Dough. You can make this completely from scratch, however, I went for a dough mix I found in the Italian section at the grocery store. Easy follow instructions and a delicious, yeasty dough. It made enough for two 10″ pies.
-Sauce. Again, you can go as simple as you want with this. Store bought is fine but I decided to sautee garlic in olive oil, add tomato sauce and season with salt, pepper, fresh basil and dried oregano. It makes for a simple marinara.
-Toppings. I went with spinach, pepperoni and kalamata olives.
Step 1. Get your grill going! This baby should be hot. My temperature gauge was anywhere from 400°-450° at all times.
Step 2. Roll out your dough to your preferred thickness. I like mine 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Toss it onto a well flowered flat cookie sheet.
Step 3. Once the grill is hot, oil down the grate well and slide the dough in. Close the lid and bake for 2-4 minutes, depending on your preference.
Step 4. Grab the dough with tongs and slide back onto the cookie sheet. Flip the dough so that grill marks are facing up. Coat with a thin layer of olive oil followed by sauce, cheese, toppings and more cheese. Slide back onto the pan.
Step 5. Oil the grill grate again and then carefully slide the pizza back in. Close the lid and grill for 5-8 mins depending on the desired crispiness your prefer.
Step 6. Grab the pizza with the tongs again and slide back onto the cookie sheet.
Step 7. Add parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, fresh basil or dried herbs to finish off a fantastic pie.
Step 8. Slice and enjoy!