Zucchini Grilled PizzaMay 19, 2017 By Cathy — 2 Comments
How bout crispy crust, melty cheese and fresh zucchini pizza for dinner tonight? No delivery required!
So the heat literally just got turned up here in Jersey. Temperatures are in the 80’s, the kids’ brains have melted to mush and I only want to cook meals on the grill.
It has been a long, cold spring here in the northeast and the warmth is not only welcome, it’s required. Up until this week I have been walking around in sweatshirts and fuzzy slippers with the furnace still cranking in May. It’s enough already. From here on out it’s flip flops, ponytails, flank steak and beer-can-chicken.
Okay that just got weird. Maybe your normal progression isn’t fashion to food, but that’s just the way my brain works. And warm weather = grilling.
So all this sunshine means some tweaking to our usual Friday night pizza. Instead of ordering in, we’re going to grill out. Grilled pizza is all about the prep, or if you’re feeling fancy and French, mise en place (which translates to everything in its place). First off, we’re making our doughs from scratch. Don’t freak out, the only skill these take is patience while we’re waiting for that initial rise. After that, it’s all rolling, topping and grilling.
This dough doesn’t stick to the grill at all and yields a thin, crispy crust that holds up well to all the toppings. I love the combination of fresh zucchini (check out the video below to learn how to make these easy zucchini ribbons), nutty parm and creamy ricotta. The sprinkling of fresh thyme and lemon zest add brightness and don’t skip the sprinkle of salt to make it sing!
Nothing makes me happier then having a casual outdoor pizza party with my friends on a warm Friday night. Hot pizza, cold beer, good tunes and finally…sunshine! Happy Fri-YAY.
- Pizza Dough
- 1 - ¼ oz package active dry yeast
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp 100 degree water
- pinch of sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus oil for the bowl)
- Garlic Oil
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- Zucchini Grilled Pizza
- 10 oz fontina cheese, shredded
- 3 lbs zucchini, peeled into ribbons
- 3 oz parmesan cheese, shredded
- 12 oz fresh ricotta cheese
- 4 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1 lemon
- Kosher or pink salt
- *dough recipe adapted from Fine Cooking
- Pizza Dough: Whisk the yeast and pinch of sugar into the water and let stand 5 - 10 mins until it begins to bubble or foam
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour and the salt.
- With the mixer set to low, add the water/yeast mixture and the olive oil.
- Knead for about 5 mins, until the dough is smooth. If it's too dry, add an additional tbsp or two of water (mixing well before adding the next). By hand: stir together all ingredients and knead on the counter for 8-10 mins.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 2-3 mins until the dough is very smooth and then shape it into a ball.
- Place the dough in a well-oiled large bowl, turning the dough so it is coated on all sides and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
- Allow it to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 - 1½ hrs.
- Lightly punch down the down and divide the dough into 8 even pieces. Roughly shape the divided pieces into balls and cover with plastic wrap.
- Working with one piece at a time and leaving the others covered, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a round or oblong shape about 6x10 inches. if the dough springs back and loses its shape, cover it and set aside for a few mins before re-rolling (this allows the dough to relax).
- Line a sheet tray with wax paper or parchment and layer the rolled pizza doughs on it between sheets of wax or parchment paper.
- The pizzas can be made immediately or you can cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to four hours or freeze).
- Garlic Oil: Combine the olive oil and the garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. When the oil begins to shimmer and become fragrant, turn off the heat let the oil come to room temperature with the garlic cloves still in it. After an hour or so, strain out the cloves and reserve.(Extra garlic oil can be stored in the refrigerator for future use.)
- Zucchini Pizza: Sprinkle a little salt over the zucchini ribbons and place them in a colander. Allow the zucchini to sit while you prep the other ingredients. After it's sat for several minutes, blot it with paper towels to remove the excess moisture.
- Preheat your gas grill set to medium heat.
- Prep all of your ingredients and arrange on a tray with the garlic olive oil, a pastry brush, a microplane or small grater and large tongs.
- Working with two pizzas at a time, brush one side of the dough with the garlic oil. Place the doughs, oiled side down, on the grill and grill until golden brown, about 2 mins
- Brush the top of the dough with garlic oil and flip them to the other side and reduce the flame to low.
- Work quickly and top with each round with one eighth of the ingredients in this order: fontina cheese. zucchini ribbons, parmesan cheese, spoonfuls of ricotta and a sprinkle of thyme. Using the microplane or grater, zest a little lemon peel over the pizzas.
- Add just a drizzle of the garlic oil over the top and then lower the lid and allow the pizzas to cook until the cheese has melted and the underside is browned, about 4-5 mins.
- Remove to a cutting board and sprinkle with salt to taste. Slice, serve and repeat with remaining dough and ingredients.