grilled pesto pizza

JM’s Grilled Pesto Pizza

Step #1: Preheat your grill!

This part is easy. Just roll that thing out of the garage, dust it off, and fire it up.

Step #2: Prep the dough!

-pizza dough
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 garlic clove, crushed
-2-3 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
-salt and pepper

You can use Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough for this one, or any store-bought dough, but you’ll only need half of it. Set the other half aside in a plastic bag for your girlfriend to use for Secret Menu Grilled Pizza the following day.

Take your half of the dough and flatten it to about 1/2 inch thickness on a cutting board or baking sheet (it won’t stick, I promise). Take half of the chopped rosemary and spread it over the top of the dough, then fold it over and flatten it again. You want the dough pretty thin (about 1/4-1/2 inch thick) so it will grill properly.

Now take the rest of the rosemary, along with the olive oil, crushed garlic clove, and a few pinches of salt and pepper, and mix them all up in a bowl. Spread some oil on the top of the dough, then flip it over and spread some more on the other side. You’ll need the dough to be fairly greasy for this to work (and to taste delicious).

Step #3: Make the pesto!

-1 1/2 cups of spinach
-1/2 cup of basil leaves
-1 1/2 tbs olive oil
-1 garlic clove
-juice from 1/2 lemon
-salt and pepper

Puree the spinach, basil, garlic, and olive oil, and then pour it into a small bowl. Add a little salt and pepper, along with the lemon juice, and stir. Put this somewhere near the grill, and have a brush or a spreading implement (not your fingers — they’ll burn) handy.

Step #4: Gather yer toppings!

I used:
-kalamata olives, halved
-crumbled feta cheese
-sun dried tomatoes
-basil, shredded

Getting the amounts right is equal parts personal preference and artistry. Take heart: if you like food, you possess the capacity for both.

Step #5: Grill yer pizza!

Oil the grill and bring it up to high heat. Make sure you’ve got your prepped dough, pesto, and toppings at the ready, because this all happens pretty quickly.

Pizzas are to food what LPs are to music: old school, solid, and double-sided, with a bit of a pop and a crunch.

Side A — Put the dough on the grill, and don’t worry if it droops through the grates a little. After a minute or so it should be firm enough to get underneath it with the spatula (bubbles of dough may form on the top side). Turn the heat down (gas grill) or move the dough to a cooler part of the grill (charcoal). Close the lid and let the dough bake on the low/medium heat for 3 to 5 more minutes). Check on it after three minutes.    

Side B — Oil the top side of the dough with a brush. Flip the dough. Put the flame back on high heat (gas grill) or move the dough to a hotter part of the fire (charcoal). Spread the pesto onto the dough. Add the toppings. After a minute or so, turn down the heat to medium or move the dough to a cooler part of the grill. Close the lid and let it bake for three to five minutes. Drink a nice cold beer and congratulate yourself. Now that you can do this yourself in under an hour, you will save thousands and possibly millions of dollars in pizza delivery charges.


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