It would be cheating to say this is a grilled pizza, since I literally just threw it on a super hot grill for 2 minutes after I had baked it on a pizza steel in the oven for 10. But I was inspired by all of the grilled bread we’ve been eating this summer (namely the delicious open-fire grilled toast served at Ana Hito’s British-themed It’s A Dinner in July), so I decided to do a last-minute toss on the grill to give it a crispier, slightly blackened crust. I’m not sure I’ll even bother trying my hand at a fully grilled pizza in the future, as this was super simple and satisfying. I threw some grilled fennel and red peppers on the pie, which added even more grilled-flavor greatness. As I’ve mentioned in previous pizza-recipe posts, I also cheat on the dough front…I either buy it ready-made from a local pizza shop or Nyack’s Old World Market. Important thing is, the dough must be room temperature before you begin or it won’t easily stretch to the thinness and size you desire.
5 or 6 thick slice of fresh mozzarella
4 oz. of your favorite pizza sauce (if I don’t have freshly made I’ll use Sugo di Pomidoro sauce)
1 red pepper, quartered
1 small fennel bulb, sliced (including core)
Fresh basil leaves
1 room-temperature pizza dough
Few tablespoons medium-grind cornmeal
Olive oil (for brushing on edges of dough and to add to vegetables)
Heat oven to 450° with baking steel inside. (The steel takes about 45 minutes to thoroughly heat through.)
Toss vegetables with olive oil and heat grill on high.
Grill vegetables on covered grill for about 4 minutes per side. Remove and slice into thin strips. (Turn grill down to low until you place the pizza in the oven. Then return grill temperature to hi.)
Spread thin layer of cornmeal on paddle board and leave it until next step is complete.
Place dough on floured board (or work surface) and push from the center of the dough to the outside as you move around in a circle. Keep pushing it until the dough becomes even all around and circular. Then pick up and spin around with your fists in center of dough 'til it becomes the size of your pan and to desired thinness. (We like it thin in our house.) Place dough on cornmeal-covered paddle board.
Spread pizza sauce evenly over dough.
Top with mozzarella, grilled vegetables and some basil leaves.
With pastry brush, paint olive oil around edges of crust.
Carefully slide pizza from paddle onto steel and bake for 10 minutes. The crust should be slightly browned around the edges.
Remove pie from oven with pizza paddle and transfer to hot grill. Close lid and check pizza (especially the bottom) after one minute. Spin pizza around so the front is now at back of grill and cover for 30-seconds to 1-minute more.
Remove pie from grill and let set for a minute or two before slicing.
Serve pizza with a favorite salad and glass of red wine.