Grilled Rustic Pizza
by Chef Owen May and Dr. Michelle May
Grilled pizzas are a fun, hands-on meal activity to enjoy with your family and friends. Prepare home-made pizza crust (recipe below) or buy pizza dough and let each guest shape their own unique crust and simply toss it on the grill. Let their imaginations go wild with original creations from your selection of interesting and healthful toppings. Sometimes we slice our creations up for everyone to try; sometimes we keep them to ourselves!
Try our homemade pizza crust and sauces; they are simple and delicious. Here are some of our topping suggestions:
Anchovies; Artichoke hearts; Arugula; Basil leaves – fresh or dried; Broccoli – steamed; Cheese – Mozzarella, Goat, Feta, Parmesan, Cheddar, others; Chicken – precooked and thinly sliced (smoked, BBQ, roasted, or grilled); Garlic (fresh or roasted); Ham; JalapeÃ±os; Mushrooms (Portobello, button, fresh or canned, thinly sliced); Olives (black, Mediterranean); Olive oil; Onions – yellow, red, white, green, fresh or caramelized; Peppers – roasted or fresh; Pineapple; Pepperoni; Pepperoncinis; Pesto (see recipe below); Pizza sauce – jarred or homemade (see recipe below); Smoked salmon; Tomatoes – fresh, roasted, or sun dried
Cold temperatures damage tomatoes, so never buy tomatoes that are stored in a cold area. Choose plump tomatoes with smooth skins that are free from bruises, cracks, or blemishes. Depending on the variety, ripe tomatoes should be completely red or reddish-orange. Storing tomatoes: Store tomatoes at room temperature (above 55 degrees) until they are fully ripened. This allows them to develop good flavor and aroma. Store tomatoes out of direct sunlight to avoid uneven ripening. If you must store them for a longer period of time, place them in the refrigerator but serve them at room temperature. Chopped tomatoes can be frozen for use in sauces or other cooked dishes.
Pesto is a universal sauce that can be use as a spread on appetizers or pizza crust, tossed with pasta, or spread on chicken or fish before cooking. It is also sometimes made with pine nuts or walnuts. Olive oil, one of the primary ingredients in pesto, is available in a variety of grades that reflects the degree to which it has been processed. Extra-virgin is the initial unrefined oil from the first pressing. Virgin olive oil refers to all oil produced from the first pressing, while pure olive oil usually means a lower- quality oil produced from subsequent pressings.
For the healthiest pizzas, use loads of veggies and use meat and cheese toppings sparingly. Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated (healthy) fats and vitamin E. In addition, olives contain a variety of beneficial active phytonutrient compounds including polyphenols and flavonoids, that also appear to have significant anti- inflammatory properties. Tomatoes contain large amounts of an antioxidant called lycopene which appears to have strong antioxidant capabilities. Several studies suggest that consumption of foods rich in lycopene is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 envelope dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups whole-wheat flour (may substitute white flour but fiber will be lower)
1 ½ cups warm water
Roasted Roma Tomato Pizza Sauce
10 fresh Roma tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups fresh basil leaves
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 pinch salt
- Combine the yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water and the sugar. Let stand for about 10-15 minutes to ferment.
- Using your hands, combine the remaining ingredients then add the dissolved yeast.
- Turn the mixture out onto a well flour dusted surface and begin to knead.
- Take the heel of your hand and push down on the dough to flatten it out.
- Fold the dough in 1/2, then 1/4 and repeat steps 4 and 5 for 5-8 minutes.
- Once the kneading is done, roll into ball, coat with oil and place in a bowl. Cover and allow to rise to about 2 times original size (about 1 hour).
- If you want to use the dough the following day, place the dough in the refrigerator instead of allowing it to rise. When ready to use, follow step 6.
- Once the dough has risen, divide it into six parts. Flatten it into pizza shapes (round or more rustic ovals). Brush one side with olive oil and place on heated grill oil side down and cook 3-5 minutes until that side is brown.
- Remove from grill and brush the uncooked side with olive oil. Turn it over and place your favorite toppings on the grilled side. Place pizza back on the grill, uncooked crust side down. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes until crust is brown and toppings are heated through.
Roasted Roma Tomato Pizza Sauce:
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice tomatoes in half and place onto a cookie sheet and bake about 1 hour or until starting to brown.
- Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or hand held mixture until smooth.
- Use as pizza sauce or as a simple flavorful pasta sauce.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Chill until ready to use.
Your journey is unique so we provide options to explore mindful eating in a way that meets your needs.