Recipe of the Week: Summer’s Pizza On The Grill

by Leigh Sackett

This recipe combines two of my favorite things – pizza and summertime!

Summer is more like something you put on than a simple season of the year. She is like a spirit that resides; a way of being.

As summer takes over and quickly pushes out the new cool air of spring with her heavy warm temps and easy ways, I can feel her taking over me as well. Sometimes it feels like waking up from a deep sleep. As if to say, “Oh there you are, I am sorry I forgot about you while you were away.”

If only I could keep her fully in my heart through the cold winter! But most likely I would not know her gift as well if it weren’t for the long winter with it’s firm yet serene grip.

To cook a pizza on the backyard grill on a warm early summer evening is the greatest joy. The air is just right, the children race around playing – their imaginations uninhibited. The games they dream up seem to come out of nowhere as if summer herself lends them. My little ones are still young and free for at least one more summer . . . So all is indeed well!

I love the smell of the honeysuckle and the way the heat of the day lingers – how your bare feet are cooled by the freshly mowed grass that is just beginning to reach up to the sun again. Summer is a gift beyond most gifts and there are so many gifts to receive from our wondrous Creator who made it all. All of summer is like that to me, one big 3 month gift – I love her so!

My hope is that you will be of a summer heart and have a chance to enjoy pizza from the grill this season!

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 pinch white sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup tomato sauce

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1/4 cup roasted red peppers

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and mix in sugar. Proof for ten minutes, or until frothy. Mix in the salt, olive oil, and flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down, and knead in garlic and basil. Set aside to rise for 1 more hour, or until doubled again.

Preheat grill for high heat. Heat olive oil with garlic for 30 seconds in the microwave. Set aside. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Form each half into an oblong shape 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick.

Brush grill grate with garlic flavored olive oil. Carefully place one piece of dough on hot grill. The dough will begin to puff almost immediately. When the bottom crust has lightly browned, turn the dough over using two spatulas. Working quickly, brush oil over crust, and then brush with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce. Arrange 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 1/8 cup sliced black olives, and 1/8 cup roasted red peppers over crust. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons basil. Close the lid, and cook until the cheese melts. Remove from grill, and set aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the second pizza.