Eating Local in Phoenix

Grilled Pizza
August 28, 2011, 11:57 pm
Filed under: dinner, garden, recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fresh tomatoes and basilThere comes a point every summer where the heat just becomes too much. It comes every August. That moment where saying the word “hot” just doesn’t justify the pressure from the sun.

These are the weeks when cooking becomes impossible. Turning on the oven or a burner runs the dangerous risk of bringing the inside temperature nearer to that of the outside. Every year I contemplate if I can subsist on ice cream alone.

Despite my best efforts to eat only cold or frozen things, I slowly dissolve into a hungry baby bird – opening and closing the refrigerator, wondering if something lies inside that will keep my stomach from rumbling.

Something I can cook without bursting into flames.

Something to celebrate the season of ripe tomatoes, green basil.

Something easy that will keep the kitchen cold.

Kneading the pizza doughAnd then, over the waves of roaring hunger came Bobby Flay with his grilled pizza. It was, and is, the perfect solution to the shimmering heat. Cook outside, over a fire, away from the house.

It turns out grilled pizza crust is the ideal vehicle for garden leftovers and stunning local Italian sausage. I added Crow’s Dairy goat cheese, a perennial favorite – but the star was The Meat Shop‘s Sweet Italian Sausage. Hell, you could even skip the pizza and just eat the sausage with a side of tomato salad – but I digress.

Grilled Pizza

This is a classic cracker crust pizza – add what you want, as long as it isn’t too wet, which will take the crust from crackery to mushy in a heartbeat.

Adapted from Bobby Flay
Serves 4 – 6

Grilled pizzaIngredients:
1 recipe pizza crust (make your own with a favorite recipe or use a pre-made crust)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Sweet Italian Sausages, grilled and sliced
4 oz goat cheese
4 oz mozzarella or monterey jack cheese, grated
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 sprigs fresh basil, chopped

Heat the grill to 400 F.

While the grill warms, roll out the pizza crust as thin as possible. Flour one side and brush the other side with olive oil.

Once the grill is hot, coat the grates with olive oil.

Flip the pizza, oil side down, onto the hot grill. Immediately brush the other side with the oil. Leave the lid open and let the crust cook for 7 minutes or until the crust has a nice golden hue. Flip the pizza crust and let cook for another 5-7 minutes.

When the crust is golden on both sides, place on a cookie sheet. Top with the cheese, sausage, tomatoes and basil. Place the pizza – on the cookie sheet – back on the grill. Close the lid and let cook until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes.


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