Fresh and Simple Grilled Pizza

There’s need to preheat the oven or overheat the kitchen in order to enjoy a fresh, crunchy, homemade pizza. Just fire up the barbeque grill. The invention of the grilled pizza is generally credited to Johanne Killeen and George Germon, chef-owners of the famous Al Forno restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island; a restaurant food writer Patricia Welles once pronounced the number one casual dining restaurant in the world. Long the signature dish of Al Forno, grilled pizza has made its way onto pizza menus across the country and frequently appears in the entrée lists of fine restaurants everywhere. Far from being inaccessible to the home cook, creating a perfectly grilled pizza is simple for anyone including the grill maestro accustomed only to turning out standard hamburger and hotdog fare. First, assemble the ingredients for the topping or toppings of your choice using the suggestions below, or drawing straight from your imagination. Start with good bread or pizza dough which is available in the refrigerator case of most grocery stores and which can also often be purchased from your neighborhood pizza parlor. Roll on a floured breadboard to individual serving sizes. There is no magic to portion size or shape. An irregularly shaped pizza is just as tasty as a round one and can look more interesting on the plate. Once the requisite number of individual servings have been rolled out and placed on a floured cookie sheet, bring them grill-side and have ready a small container of extra virgin olive oil and a basting brush. Brush each dough round with olive oil and immediately place it, oiled side down on the hot grill. As the dough begins to firm and crisp, brush the other side with olive oil. Once the underside is golden and has formed nice grill marks, turn it over and top with one of the following or invent your own topping. PROSCUTTO AND ARUGULA GRILLED PIZZA While the second side of the pizza continues to grill, top the crisped side with thinly sliced proscutto. Add a generous handful of carefully washed arugula or baby spinach. Close grill cover just long enough to allow the arugula to wilt slightly. Remove to a serving plate and grate fresh parmesan or pecorino/ramano cheese over the top of the pizza. Drizzle on a small amount of additional extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on red pepper flakes to taste. SLICED CHICKEN, ROASTED RED PEPPER, ZUCCHINI AND GOAT CHEESE GRILLED PIZZA Before grilling the pizza, thinly slice a zucchini squash lengthwise, brush with olive oil and grill. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper and reserve. In a dry sauté pan, toast two tablespoons of pine nuts until they begin to brown and reserve as well. While the second side of the pizza continues to grill, top the crisped side with slices of jarred roasted red peppers, sliced cooked chicken breast and the grilled zucchini. Prepare in a blender, in advance, equal parts sour cream and goat cheese and a tablespoon of finely chopped parsley. Place in a squeeze bottle and squirt in a back-and-forth-motion across the finished pizza. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts over the entire pizza and serve. CAPRESE PIZZA While the second side of the pizza is grilling, top with sliced fresh tomatoes, a generous amount of roughly torn fresh basil and sliced fresh mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  

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