Despite the cool wet spring in New England, I was ready to fire up the outdoor grill. Although this charred and crispy bread is more like a garnished flatbread than a pizza, it can be topped with all sorts of fresh and seasonal fruits, vegetables and meats. The stunning red and bizarre shaped heirloom tomatoes are just starting to show up at the market. With the addition of some arugula leaves, sliced prosciutto and shredded mozzarella cheese, I had a perfect light lunch. If pressed for time, store bought dough is a strong alternative, but make sure to oil the surface of the dough on both sides before grilling.
For the dough:
- 2/3 cup lukewarm water (between 105-115 degrees F)
- 1 envelope (2 1/2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating the bowl
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
To prepare the dough, combine the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a food processor and add 2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the salt. Process until the mixture forms a ball, adding more water if it’s too dry, or more flour, a small amount at a time, if too wet. The dough should be soft but slightly sticky. Continue processing to knead the dough for about 30 seconds or so. Oil a large bowl and coat it with the olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and coat the dough with the oil from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set the bowl in a warm place in your kitchen. The dough will double in size in about an hour. Punch down the dough which is now filled with air bubbles. Divide it into two pieces.
For the pizza:
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 2 cups arugula leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 fresh basil, finely chopped
Pre-heat the grill to medium-high. Roll out the dough, one piece at a time, until its about 1/16th inch thickness. Oil one side of the dough. Carefully place the oiled side of the dough on the grlll. Leave it there until it’s puffed up slightly and you get the grill marks. Brush the other side with oil and flip the dough over. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Cover the grilled side with your toppings and drizzle with olive oil. Cover and cook the toppings until the cheese melts or the toppings are warmed. Remove the pizza, sprinkle with the fresh basil, season to taste and slice into pieces.
Inspiration: Sara Moulton