Grilled pizza

By Summer

I made grilled pizza a few years ago in Ottawa with Nicole. I think we were inspired by this Michael Smith recipe.

Since then, I’ve made pizza many times. When I travel home, we have a traditional Cousins Pizza Party. I make the dough. Dad prepares the toppings (he’s a machine). Michael and I build them. Last time Sue took charge of the building and did a fantastic job. Michael made the dough two Decembers ago when I had my arm in a sling. It’s a family affair. Lots of good Pinot Noir. Maybe one or two of Nancy’s famous 19th Hole cocktails…good times.

I also like having pizza parties with my friends here in Bern. I prepare the dough, and everyone has to bring their favourite toppings for one pizza. Canned tuna on pizza is a big thing in Switzerland.

No comment…

This summer, I felt it was time for another go at grilled pizza. I got my friends Raph and Noemi on board to host (they have a barbecue and a large backyard). I had initially planned to follow the technique that Nicole and I used, but Raph bought a pizza stone, and the effect was a thin, crispy crust, deliciously scorched in places. Great success!

blog pizza dough

 Dough

Use your favourite dough recipe. This is mine. Nicole stumbled across the original recipe on the web while looking for a wheat-free pizza recipe (she’s a good friend):

2 cups white spelt flour

¾ tsp. salt (I guess…I never measure)

1 ½ tsp. quick-rising yeast

1 tsp. baking powder

4 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. honey

2/3 c. warm water

Sift the first four ingredients together. In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the last three ingredients together. Make a well in the centre of the dough and pour in the liquid. Mix with a wooden spoon to wet all the flour and then get in there with your hands and knead for a few minutes into a smooth dough, adding more flour if necessary, just until you can comfortably knead it without too much stickiness. It should be a nice soft dough. Coat the outside in a bit of olive oil and let rise in a bowl covered with a moist tea towel, for about an hour, or however long it takes to prepare the toppings and have a cocktail or two. You actually don’t need to let it rise if you don’t have time.

The original recipe is here, and it makes one medium-sized pizza. (So I usually have to multiply it by six or eight, which is a great test of my math skills, with varying results.)

 Toppings

The world is your oyster.

Hands down, I think our family’s favourite pizza is the prosciutto-arugula combo (thanks, Raph!). Slosh on some spicy tomato sauce and a few onions and mushrooms and cook the pizza until it’s almost done. Add the cheese at the end (mozzarella, or even just a sprinkling of parm), and continue to cook for a few minutes to melt. Remove the pizza, top with prosciutto and then arugula, shaved parm if you like. Drizzle of oil. You’re welcome.

A greek-style pizza is an old standby. I also like caramelized fennel, olives and gruyère, as well as a sauceless caramelized onion, brie, thyme and pear combination. Nicole’s simple lemon oil, caper, mozzarella pizza will make your taste buds dance.

blog pizza

 Grilled pizza method

Heat the grill (we used a gas barbecue) with the pizza stone. Raph says the grill was between 200°C and 250°C the whole time. Roll out the dough to fit the stone. Once the stone is nice and hot, transfer the dough to the stone on the grill and quickly build the pizza. The trick is to have all the ingredients prepped and at hand. Close the lid and let cook until the bottom of the pizza is golden and the toppings are sizzling.

Since this method requires less cooking time than with an oven, any raw veggies should be thinly sliced. Raph also bought a giant metal spatula, which made it easier to transfer the cooked pizza off the stone and onto the wooden board we used to serve. And made him look cool.

Repeat.

Summer lives in Switzerland. In her spare time, she is either on her bicycle or in her kitchen.
Welcome to our family’s discussion forum on food. If you’d like to submit a post, please consider yourself family, and email us at familyfoodforum@gmail.com.

After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

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6 thoughts on “Grilled pizza

  1. Mmmmm….delicious, Summer. There’s something so relaxed and yet special about homemade pizza for a group, though we always do it in the oven with a pizza stone. But after this, I’m going to man up and try it on the grill. (And by that I mean Bob is going to do it on the grill….)

    Speaking of arugula on pizza, back in April, Jesse, Bob and I had a wonderful pizza with arugula that still haunts me, in a good way. It wasn’t even homemade. We were too lazy or too tired or it was too late to go out for dinner, so we decided to find some calories at the bar of the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, where Bob and I were staying for the weekend. It’s one of those cozy, dark, and wood-panelled traditional bars, with about a million different varieties of liquor and a tiny food menu. It turned out to be a very simple pizza: a thick layer of tomato sauce, lots of mozzarella, and a big pile of arugula. It was incredibly good.

    And speaking of tuna on pizza (I can’t believe we are), I love a certain good-quality canned tuna (the phrases “good quality” and “canned tuna” are not mutually exclusive in my world), and I can be pretty adventurous about pizza toppings, but I think “canned tuna” and “pizza topping” will continue to be mutually exclusive phrases in my world. You know, except when I go to one of Summer’s pizza parties in Switzerland.

    • And I teach grammar….Um, could I just clarify that Bob and I did not check into the King Edward Hotel’s bar for the weekend? We had an actual guest room upstairs.

  2. One of my co-workers had a pizza in Paris with “something green on top that wasn’t spinach.” She asked me if I knew what it could be. I suggested arugula, but she wasn’t sure. Is there a green that’s popular on pizzas in Paris? Does anyone know?

    • We need Swiss Miss in on this, or maybe London Calling, who had her Paris weekend(s). Arugula (roquette in France) sounds reasonable — did she say if it was spicy? I know there’s a lot of sorrel used in France, but I don’t think I’d expect it to turn up on my pizza. But then, I wouldn’t expect canned tuna on my pizza either, so…

      • My immediate thought was arugula and she was perhaps thrown off by it being referred to as rocket (as Aunt Sharon suggested). Nothing else springs to mind but it could be anything!

        Summer, I love this idea. Really interactive way to have people over and reduces the costs of hosting a dinner. I would definitely bring arugula and mozzarella, the pizza Aunt Sharon is referring to was insanely good. I just purchased organic ground chipotles that I’ve been putting on everything, so perhaps I’d make a mexican style one!

        • Mmm…Mexican style pizza — it’s our default pizza, though I have been returning to classic Italian ingredients lately. I think I may make some pizza sauce tomorrow with this magic bushel box of tomatoes I have, which never, ever reaches the end.

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