Grilled Mediterranean Pizza

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Grilled artisan pizza as delicious as any that comes out of an Italian brick oven.

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 4

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Dietary guidance: v n 

Tags: main · pizza · artisan ·

Ingredients

1 lb. of prepared pizza dough (I get mine at Wegman's or Trader Joe's.)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flour
Pesto
Red pepper sauce
Fresh tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella
Artichoke hearts
Kalamata olives
Arugula

Optional:
Ham Canadian Bacon
Mushrooms

Method

Remove dough from its package and lightly brush with extra-virgin olive oil. Place in a stainless steel bowl and cover with a cotton dish towel. Let the bowl sit for at least 1 hour in a warm place. This will allow the dough to come to room temperature and rise slightly, resulting in a light, crispy crust.

When the dough is ready to be shaped, prepare a hot grill - approximately 650 degrees. This temperature will simulate the heat of the wood-fired ovens used in the best (and most authentic) pizzerias.

Cut the dough into four equal pieces and form into individual pizzas. If you're really coordinated, you might try tossing it like the pros but it isn't necessary. Using your palms or a pie roller spread the dough until it is 1/8-1/4 inch thick and vaguely resembles a circle. It doesn't have to be perfectly round to be perfectly delicious. Place the dough on individual piece of FLOURED wax paper. This is IMPORTANT! If you don't flour the wax paper, you'll wish you had. The dough is very sticky.

When the grill is hot (shoot for at least 500 degrees as not every grill will get up to 650) it's time to start your pizza.

Brush one side of the dough with olive oil, place it OIL SIDE DOWN on the grate, and close the lid. Get ready, because this part of the cooking process happens QUICKLY!!! In about 1-2 minutes (yes, ONE to TWO minutes) the dough has beautiful grill marks on one side and is ready for the next step.

Remove the pizzas and close the grill again so as not to lose heat.

Oil the uncooked side of the pizza and flip them over. Add your toppings. My personal favorite is to substitute tradition tomato sauce with a little pesto and red pepper sauce. Then, add the fresh mozzarella cut into small slices, artichoke hearts, and Kalamata olives. It is pizza after all, so add what you want.

Return the pizzas to the grate and close the lid again. Reduce the heat to med-high, and within 4-5 minutes MAXIMUM, you will have beautifully melted cheese and a delicious crispy crust.

If you want a genuine Italian twist on your pizza, try mixing some fresh arugula with olive oil, garlic, and a little bit of salt and adding it to your pizza AFTER it comes off of the grill. The peppery flavor of the arugula will enhance the yumminess of your other toppings. You'll never be satisfied with generic pizza delivery again!

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