Grilled Pizza with Tomato, Basil, and Grilled Zucchini

We’re supposed to have pretty nice weather this upcoming week, and it might be our last chance to break out the grill.  Here’s your opportunity to give something different and wonderful a try!  If you’re tired of grilling the same old burgers, steaks, and chicken, try this grilled pizza recipe!  Never thought about grilling pizza?  It sounds odd, but it turns out so delicious!  The grilling just gives it such a unique flavor that, combined with the fresh ingredients, is an extremely tasty and unique way to have pizza that will having you want to grill pizza all the time!  It’s way better than delivery!

You start with actual pizza dough – not a premade crust – and it cooks right on the grill.  The first time I heard about this, I couldn’t fathom that the dough wouldn’t fall through the grates on the grill.  But it doesn’t!  It cooks up before it has a chance and then you have that wonderful grilled flavor.  You can either use premade pizza dough or make your own.  I’ve done both.  Last time I made my own because I wanted whole wheat, and I used this recipe as a guide, but using all wheat flour and substituting honey for the sugar.

There is a little bit of a trick to making grilled pizza, and it’s easier with two people because you have to work fast.  To prepare, you have to oil the grill a bit with a paper towel or old towel dabbed in oil.  You don’t want your grill too hot here.  Then you put your pizza crust right on the grill.  Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly shaped.  Mine never is.  I’d say I do that on purpose to add to the rustic feel, but I’d be lying.  Oh well, it still tastes great!

Anyway, you leave the crust on for about five minutes or so, or until the bottom side begins to brown a bit.  Now, here’s where you have to work fast.  Flip the pizza dough (have your helper assist you with the flipping) and add your toppings and cheese, and put the lid on.  You have to do this quickly so the cheese has time to melt before the crust burns.  Keep an eye on the crust, and once it’s started to brown on the bottom and the cheese melts, you’re done!

You can use any toppings you like.  I’ve done traditional things – sausage, onions, green pepper with red sauce is our favorite kind of pizza.  This time, though, I went with fresh tomatoes, grilled zucchini and onions, and fresh mozzarella with just a little olive oil on the crust.  Oh, and we can’t forget the fresh basil!  It was so delicious and fresh!  Whatever you decide, I’ve always heard that less is better, and I’d have to agree.  I’d keep it to two or three ingredients max, or you won’t get everything on in time to get the cheese melted and your crust will burn.  Plus, this crust is thin and you don’t want too much piled on.

Hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as we do!  It is so delicious, very healthy, and perfect for Meatless Monday!

Grilled Pizza with Tomato, Basil, and Grilled Zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 1 pizza dough, store bought or homemade, rolled out
  • 2 small or 1 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
  • 4-5 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • One 8 oz. ball of fresh mozzarella
  • About 40-45 leaves of fresh basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil for sprinkling
  • Grated Parmesan for garnish, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare grill to medium heat.  In a large bowl, toss zucchini  with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, the thyme, and a couple leaves of fresh basil, chopped.  Grill the zucchini in a grill basket (or on foil if you don’t have a grill basket) for about 7-10 minutes.  Add the onion and grill about 5-7 more minutes, or until veggies are tender and they are slightly golden brown.

Wet a paper towel or old towel with a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil.  Holding the towel with tongs, carefully wipe the grate of the grill where you will lay the pizza dough.  Lay the pizza dough directly on the grill and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until it starts to brown.  Turn the pizza dough over and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.  On top of that, spread out the grilled zucchini and onions, tomato, and mozzarella.  (Work quickly!)  Put the lid on the grill, and let it cook for about another five minutes, checking to make sure the crust gets brown but does not burn.  Take the pizza off the grill and top with fresh basil.  Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

 

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