If you love fresh vegetables and adore pizza, why not combine them on the grill? The best part is that you can change this recipe and use whatever vegetables you have on hand.
Although traditional Neapolitan pizza dough is made only with flour, yeast, salt, and oil, the recipe below has an American twist. This unique recipe uses bread flour for strength, all-purpose flour for tenderness, and cornmeal for flavor and texture. It makes a delicious, slightly crunchy dough. If you don’t want to make your own pizza dough, you can purchase commercially-made dough, dust your board with some cornmeal, and then roll out the dough so that the bottom will be coated with the cornmeal to give it that crispy texture. You can use any combination of the vegetables below on your pizza.
Grilled Vegetable Pizza
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 large bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and cut in half
- 1 large purple Globe eggplant, stem removed and cut into rounds
- 1 large Portabello mushroom or 4 small mushrooms, wiped free of debris, stem trimmed or removed
- 3 plum tomatoes, cut in half
- 6 green onions, root ends removed
- 4 spears of asparagus, stems trimmed
- Cooking oil spray
- 1 (12 inch) pizza crust or packaged pizza crust (see recipe and tips below)
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
Prepare a medium-hot fire in the charcoal or gas grill. Meanwhile, using a large bowl, soak the vegetables in cold water for about 30 minutes before you grill them to keep them from drying out. Drain and pat vegetables dry. Combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions and asparagus in the bowl, tossing gently to coat. Place vegetable mixture on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until tender.
Lightly coat pizza crust with cooking spray; grill 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted. Arrange vegetable mixture over crust. Sprinkle with pecorino Romano cheese. Grill 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from grill; sprinkle with basil and oregano.
Cornmeal Pizza Dough
Yield: 2 pounds dough, enough for 2 large or 3 smaller pizzas
Pizza dough doesn’t freeze very well, although it may be made one day, allowed to partially rise, then refrigerated overnight for use the following day, or even punched down again and kept chilled for use the second day. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before rolling or stretching into a circle or tongue shape.
- 1/2 pound (2 cups minus 2 tablespoons) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 pound (2 cups) unbleached bread flour
- 1/4 pound (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) stone-ground yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 (1/4-ounce) package (21/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, bread flour, cornmeal, and salt.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the water, honey, and yeast and allow the mixture to proof for 10 minutes or until bubbling. Beat in the milk and oil. Beat in the flour mixture, then switch to the dough hook and beat on low speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. The finished pizza dough should be soft and slightly sticky: you should be able to press a finger into the dough and pull it away cleanly after it sticks briefly.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning it so all the dough is coated with oil. Cover with plastic film and set aside in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise at warm room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Divide the dough into 2 or 3 portions and form into smooth rounds. Roll out or stretch out by hand into the desired size: 12 to 14 inches is common.
The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She blogs for Vitacost.com and Momonomics.com on a weekly basis.