Although I love to cook, I did not realize until recently how easy it was to grill a pizza on the barbecue. As a self-professed pizza lover, I was determined to give it a shot, but work commitments kept me out of the kitchen until this weekend. Pizza often gets a bad rap; many YPs believe it’s a tastes-good-but-isn’t-good-for-you food that can’t be part of a healthy food routine. Certainly, a pizza can be healthier (less cheese, thin whole wheat crust, veggies) or less healthy (loads of cheese and deli meats); thankfully, when you make pizza at home, you can control the ingredients to fit within your overall eating pattern.
1. Preheat your barbecue. The amount of time needed will depend on your barbecue, but it will likely take 10-15 minutes. You want to get it really hot; this is the key to ensuring your dough does not fall through the grate.
2. Prep your ingredients. This means chopping up and grating your favourite pizza toppings and having them within easy access of the grill.
3. By now, your grill should be nice and hot. Don’t panic; you can do this!
4. Stretch out the dough. When you are stretching out the dough, make sure your hands and your work surface are well-floured. I shaped my dough into a quasi-circle by pulling it over my knuckles, rotating as I went along until it was to my desired thickness. Place the stretched dough on a floured cutting board or piece of parchment paper. Brush the top side with olive oil.
5. Make sure all your ingredients (dough, sauce, topping) and tools (tongs, spatula) are close at hand because you will be topping the pizza directly on the grill.
6. Place the dough oiled-side down on the grill. Brush the top with olive oil. Now, let the dough cook for about 3-5 minutes. Check the underside occasionally to make sure it isn’t burning. When it’s golden, flip the dough over.
7. Top that pizza and close the lid so that the ingredients can cook through and the cheese can melt. This can take anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
8. You did it. Open that bottle of wine and enjoy your first (of many) grilled pizza.
If you are up for making your own dough, give Heidi’s Best Pizza Dough Ever recipe a try. Admittedly, it takes some advanced planning because the dough needs to rise overnight. But, the recipe makes six crusts that can you can freeze and pull out as you need them. If kneading dough isn’t for you, check out Lina’s Italian Market in Calgary, where you can buy amazing pizza dough for as little as $2.
After years of searching (we are not exaggerating), I finally found an amazing Classic Red Pizza Sauce (which would also be good on pasta), courtesy of The Kitchn. This recipe makes about five cups of sauce that can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for later use.
The Kitchn’s Classic Red Pizza Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
10 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
Lightly sauté the minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until golden. Add the tomato paste and fry with the garlic. Add to the rest of the ingredients and blend.
Photo courtesy The Hungry Teacher