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Grilled Pizza - You select the toppings

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Grilled Pizza - You select the toppings

One of our favorite family activities is making grilled pizza. In the middle of Quarantine it seems even more popular than ever and has become the highlight of the week. It's really affordable, the whole family can join in and its pretty darn tasty. We all have our favorites - Walt and I love the Radicchio and our kid loves the Pesto.

So here's how we do it. Ingredients are based on three of our faves, pesto, smoked mozzarella and vegetable primavera and lastly the smoked onion radicchio. 

1 ball of pizza dough (available at your fave pizza joint or at most gourmet grocery stores) This will make 3 pizzas. Don't worry about the shape it's all about the goodness.

Pizza One - Pesto

crushed garlic in olive oil mozzarella cheese
Pizza sauce (we make our own) but bought is perfectly fine Pesto Sauce (we use Kirkland brand from Costco)
Parmesan Cheese

Take original dough and split into three equal size balls of dough. Cover with a damp linen cloth and let rest for 20mins at room temperature. Take first ball and stretch out as far as you can without putting dough on surface but without tearing the dough. Use your knuckles instead of your fingertips at this stage.


Once you feel it is going to tear put on counter and continue stretching out edges using your fingertips. 


Next, lightly oil the back side of a large sheet pan.  Place flattened dough on top and continue pressing/stretching the dough until it is very thin, but not so thin that you can see through it.  Your dough is now ready for grilling!


We use a wood fired grill and about 2/3 of a chimney full of charcoal briquettes. Once they are ready, we pour them out on one side of the grill and add some chunks of mesquite wood to kick up the heat. Place dough on grill over medium high heat by turning the baking sheet upside down slowly. This can be cooked on either a gas or charcoal grill - we prefer charcoal because of the smoky flavor.  

Once dough is on the grill, you will see it start to puff up in spots.  After a minute or so, use longish tongs to move the dough around the heat to cook/char all parts of dough.  Once it has a deep color, but not burned, move to cold portion of grill and flip dough over.  Next, spread some garlic oil on the crust, then dollops of pizza sauce.  Don't use too much or it will get soggy.  Then add your other ingredients. For pesto pizza add tomato sauce, mozzarella and large dollops of pesto.

Slide dough back over the heat and turn frequently in a clockwise direction so that the bottom cook evenly.  Again, cook until it has a deep color but is not burned.  You will see the sauce and cheese begin to bubble.  If the crust is cooked, but the top is not bubbly, move to cold side of grill and cover for a couple of minutes to finish cooking.

Next, remove from grill onto a cutting board.  we use tongs and simply pull the pizza onto the board.  Let it rest for a minute or so before cutting and serving.

Pizza Two - Veggie Primavera

crushed garlic in olive oil grated smoked mozzarella cheese
Pizza sauce  various veggies, precooked but not mushy
cherry tomatoes whipped goat cheese

Follow all steps as before until flipping the pizza. Drop chunks of pizza sauce, sprinkle mozzarella liberally along with cherry tomatoes, asparagus, zucchini and return to the grill as before. After a few minutes remove from grill, add dollops of whipped goat cheese and let rest. Slice and serve.

Pizza Three - Grilled Radicchio, Smoked Onion and Aged Balsamic

crushed garlic in olive oil radicchio
1 onion  liquid smoke (about 2 tsp)
mozzarella cheese burrata cheese
aged balsamic vinegar

To prep for the pizza toppings you'll need to caramelize some onions, adding a little liquid smoke at the beginning. Chop the radicchio into bite sized pieces and saute in a separate pan. Set both aside. Follow all directions for prepping the pizza dough as above. After flipping pizza top with dollops of sauce, mozzarella, raddichio, smoky onions and dollops of burrata. Finish with a drizzle of aged balsamic. Simply SUBLIME!!


Our latest experiment was a corn, tomato and cotija cheese pizza. 5-21-2020

This one is shaped a bit like the state of California LOL! Delicious.

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