Monday, July 23, 2012
grilled garden pizza
It's nearing my favorite time of year for cooking, when a lot of what's on our plates comes directly from the garden. I love wandering around in there before dinner, gathering herbs and vegetables ready for picking, and dreaming of the possibilities. At least once a week during summertime, we eat "garden pizza."
Rather than wait for dough to rise, I often just prepare flour tortillas (sometimes using a little whole wheat flour instead of all white) to serve as the base for the pizzas. The small size makes nice individual servings, and everyone can have the toppings they love best. We also like how these make for a thin and crispy crust.
To make the sauce, I saute garlic and onion in a little olive oil, and add diced tomatoes, cooking until it forms a paste-like consistency. Then I add a little sugar and a lot of oregano. This time I threw in some basil, too.
The really fun part is the toppings, which is whatever the garden gives that day, and whatever else I have on hand. The pizzas I made recently were topped with raw goat's milk cheese, zucchini, sweet pepper, basil, and Italian sausage.
I like cooking the pizzas on the grill, although getting a thin, wobbly, uncooked tortilla filled with sauce and (overly) abundant toppings onto the grilling surface can be tricky, unless you have one of those pizza paddle things (of which I really ought to have by now, but still don't). So, I improvise by building the pizzas on a heavily floured cutting board and then just quickly sliding them off onto the grill. It feels like trying to remove a tablecloth out from underneath dishes and wine glasses - a little pre-dinner magic that makes a humble pizza seem more daring! (I bet someone has a better way, and just so the whole magic pizza trick doesn't deter you, they are very easy to remove with a big metal spatula once done cooking).
One day, I'll have a fancy outdoor cob oven and equally appropriate pizza paddle. But until then, this fits the bill just fine.