Pizza Parr-taaay!

When faced with an unseasonably warm January evening and three people with very different tastes, what's a girl to make? Why, grilled pizzas of course! Now, this isn't your average pie. No, no, no! This is a crispy pizza kissed by a grill, sauced up by a homemade simple tomato sauce (recipe at the bottom) and topped off by such a myriad of toppings, it is guaranteed to keep everyone smiling. Now, I must warn you, I went a little overboard this evening. Meats of all sorts, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, various cheeses all piled high, creating endless number of combinations. Sooo delicious! When making this for a crowd, it's fun to make a bunch of small pizzas of varying toppings so that everyone could try a little of each. I just love pizza for its versatility. It can be a simple Margarita style (fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil) or something a little different (BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese). Really, sky's the limit when it comes to pizza and don't be afraid to get creative and have a lot of fun with it!

The real key to making this pizza great was the use of a grill. I was fortunate enough to be able to use my Dad's grill as my Small Boston Kitchen isn't equipped with one. But fear not my fellow non-grill owning city-dwellers, you can still make a similarly delicious pie in the comforts of your own kitchen by investing in a Pizza Stone. You can get one relatively inexpensively (under $20) at any kitchen store. It really makes for a crispier crust, which is essential for a great thin crust pizza.

Grilled Pizza
- Toppings of choice (various meats, vegetables, fresh herbs and cheeses)
- Store bought pizza dough
- Pizza sauce (you can either make your own or buy a good jar sauce)
- Flour for dusting
- Extra virgin olive oil

Spread some flour onto a flat, clean surface. Grab a small ball of dough and roll it around a little in the flour so that it isn't sticky. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a thin circle. With a kitchen brush, paint one side of the dough with extra virgin olive oil. Gently place the dough (oil side down) onto a very hot grill. Close the lid and let the dough cook for approximately 5 minutes until the dough puffs up. (See picture to the right) Gently poke the larger air bubbles with the edge of a spatula to let the air out. Brush the top of the dough with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil. Flip the dough over and add sauces, toppings and cheeses. Close lid and let the pizza cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted through. Remove pizza from heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes to let everything set. (If you cut into pizza too soon, it can sometimes be a little runny. I know it looks delicious, but your patience will pay off!)

Homemade Pizza Sauce
- 1 large can San Marzano whole, peeled tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 6 or 7 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- Enough good quality extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of a pan
- Salt and pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of the pan with extra virgin olive oil. Add the whole garlic cloves and heat on medium low. Be sure to keep an eye on these because they can burn quickly. Discard the garlic once it has browned (or you can chop it up and put it in the sauce.) Open the can of tomatoes and using kitchen scissors, cut the tomatoes while still inside the can until still chunky. Pour tomatoes into the garlic oil mixture and stir to combine. Add the basil and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Cover and reduce the heat to low and leave it to slowly simmer for a couple of hours to let the flavors of the sauce completely come together.


yoant123 said...

I like to do the same thing with pizza when I have company! People just love to see the process of pizza being made (especially those who don't cook!) It is SO simple!! For my son's birthday one year I had 7 of his freinds over gave them each a ball of dough and let them all create their own pizza. It was fun, most of them had never even touched raw dough. Your grill pizzas look wonderful!!!

One Food Guy said...

Hi! These pizzas look fantastic. I love making pizzas and always use a pizza stone. I'm going to try grilling pizza soon, but 5 minutes for the dough with the grill on high and another 10 minutes once you flip? That seems like an awfully long time! I'll trust you though...for now ;-)

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Thanks One Food Guy, I looove making pizza. I had timed it (good bloggers know that accuracy is key!) and this is how long it had taken. But keep in mind, it was January and I was grilling. In Massachusetts. I'm sure it's a lot less time in say, August!

Thanks for stopping by and giving my blog a read. Always nice to meet a fellow fan of the 'za.

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