Jun 21, 2010

Grilled Margherita Pizza

Happy first official day of Summer!

Cooking pizza in a 500 degree oven in the summer is just not an option for me.  I just can’t turn the oven on that high when its already 80 outside and I don’t have air conditioning.  Especially after my experience with cooking pita bread in the hot oven.   So grilling pizza is a really great alternative method – and it is absolutely delicious.   It’s definitely tricky getting the dough on the grill – but who says it needs to be perfectly round – it still tastes great!    

We both love the simple taste of a basic margherita pizza with a tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil (from my herb garden!) on top.   It was fantastic on a grill – but this is just the beginning on many more grilled pizza delights this summer!



  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh oregano
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cup water (110 degrees F)
  • spray oil


  • 28-ounce can peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper


  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped.
  • fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper



1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and add garlic and oregano.  Saute until garlic is golden, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Process flour, yeast, slat and garlic/oil mixture in a large food processor with the dough blade.   Continue pulsing while adding 1 1/2 cups water through the feed tube.   If the dough does not form a ball – add the remaining 1/4 cup of water.  Process until the dough is smooth and elastic – 30 seconds longer.

3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for a few stroked to form a smooth round ball of dough.  

4. Place dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.   Let rise for 1 – 1.5 hours, until doubled in size. 

5. When ready to shape dough – punch down dough and divide in half (you can now freeze half if you want).   Divide the remaining dough into 4 equal portions.

6.   Working with one ball of dough at at time, flatten into disk and use your fingertips to shape the dough outwards from the center.   Continue turning and stretching the dough until you have an 8 inch diameter.  Transfer the dough to the back of a baking sheet or parchment paper – and cover until ready to grill.


1. Combine the sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.   Using an immersion blender – pulse the sauce until you reach your desired consistency. 

2.  Let simmer for 15 minutes, or until it thickens. 

ready to grill:

1.  Gather all of the ingredients that you will need onto a tray – and have that next to your grill for easy access. 

2. Preheat the grill on high for about 10 minutes – and clean off grill grates. 

3. Brush tops of dough with olive oil and sprinkle on salt. 

4. Reduce heat to medium and carefully transfer on the the dough rounds onto the grill, oiled side down. 

5.  Grill for about 2 minutes or until dark grill marks appear.  Brush tops with oil and use tongs to flip over dough.   Cook until golden brown and remove from grill – and repeat with remaining dough rounds.

6. Off the grill – arrange the toppings on the dough – sauce, cheese, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. 

7.  Slide back onto grill, and close the lid for about 2 minutes – until cheese is melted.

Source: dough from Cooks Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbecue

sauce adapted from Food and Wine

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