Joanne Camas, recipe by Maggie Ruggiero, photo by Romulo Yanes
Homemade pizza’s delicious (no arguments here), but who wants to heat up their kitchen? Solution: Toss the dough on the grill.
There are several schools of thought on grilling pizza. Some people cook the pizza right on the grill racks (Steven Raichlen, for one), perhaps with a dusting of cornmeal underneath to stop it sticking. Others use a pizza stone or perforated metal pizza pan. (But remember, the stone will take a while to heat up.)
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Regardless of your technique, your pizza will benefit from the quick, high heat and have a smoky, crispy crust.
Veterans suggest working with pizza dough that’s a little stiffer than usual so it’s easy to handle on the grill. Individual pizzas are a good option, too, as they can be scooted around more easily.
Tip: Grill the crust on one side for a minute then flip it, toasting the top a bit before you add your toppings and cheese.
EGGPLANT, GREEN OLIVE AND PROVOLONE PIZZA
Good, cheesy pizza generally doesn’t need much help in the flavor department, but a grilled pie has a smoky dimension (here amplified by meaty grilled eggplant) that always leaves people clamoring for more.
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pound eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch-thick rounds
1 pound store-bought pizza dough at room temperature
5 ounces sliced provolone, cut into short thin matchsticks (1 1/4 cups)
18 pitted green olives, coarsely chopped (1/3 cup)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
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Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat; see Grilling Procedure.
Stir together garlic and oil. Brush some of garlic oil on both sides of eggplant and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Grill, covered, turning once, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes total. Cut into roughly 1-inch pieces.
Stretch dough into about a 12- by 10-inch rectangle on a large baking sheet and lightly brush with garlic oil. Oil grill rack, then put dough, oiled side down, on grill. Brush top with more garlic oil. Grill, covered, until underside is golden-brown, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes.
Using tongs, return crust, grilled side up, to baking sheet. Scatter eggplant, cheese, olives, and parsley over crust. Slide pizza from sheet onto grill and grill, covered, until underside is golden-brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.