Another gorgeous day here in the valley. I'm lucky enough to be off work all week this week, so I'm very much enjoying this lovely surprise heat wave Mother Nature has sent us. Today we bought a bird bath for our garden and I planted my annuals out back on our deck. Actually, as I write this right now - I'm happily rocking away on the front porch, watching the sun set. Ahhh... this IS the life!
Given the hot weather, I'm not very interested in spending time in front of my stove - or anywhere else inside, for that matter. The grill is definitely my friend this week. Tonight I made pizza on the grill. It may sound odd - and you may be nervous at first about the dough falling through the grills - but I swear it works like a charm! I made a margarita pizza with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, so I'm also entering this recipe in this month's Royal Foodie Joust.
I've always been a bit too intimidated by the ingredients list to join the joust... or at least worried that Mr. ValleyWriter wouldn't eat whatever I'd made. For example, I think the edible flowers from a couple of months ago would've made him run in the other direction. But this month's only requirements were colors - red, white and green. This pizza fits the bill perfectly and is something we can both enjoy. So, without further ado:
Grilled Margarita Pizza
(Note: I make my dough using a bread machine. You can substitute your favorite dough recipe - or use premade dough from the store.)
3/4 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp yeast
1/2 c. pizza sauce
8-10 medium-sized basil leaves
1 ripe tomato
8 oz. part skim mozzarella cheese (whole - not shredded)
To make pizza:
Place dough ingredients in your bread machine pan in the order listed (or as directed by the manufacturer). Set to dough cycle.
When dough finishes, pour out onto a well floured surface. Mix in a little flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you get the toppings ready.
Wash and dry basil leaves. Cut tomato into 1/4" slices and remove any large pockets of seeds (which can make the pizza watery). Cut mozzarella into 1/8"-1/4" slices.
Spray the grill generously with nonstick spray. Start it up, set to medium heat and close the cover. Let the grill heat about 3-4 minutes.
In the meantime, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Sprinkle a medium-sized cookie sheet with a little flour and place dough in the center. Spread dough out along the bottom of the cookie sheet until it is about 8-9" wide x 13-14" long.
Turn the grill down to medium-low heat. Invert the cookie sheet with the dough onto the grill. Let it sit about 1-2 minutes to make sure the dough releases, then pull off the cookie sheet using tongs or pot holders. (The pan will be HOT - don't touch it with your bare hands. Take it from someone who found out the hard way....)
Close the cover and let the dough cook about 5 minutes.
Spread sauce on top of dough. Layer basil, tomato slices and mozzarella slices on top. Close the cover and let cook another 15 minutes until dough is cooked and cheese is melted.
Remove from the grill and let cool about 10 minutes before serving.