Sunday, August 1, 2021

Summer Fresh Recipe Series: Grilled Margherita Pizza

This pizza packs a double whammy.  1) Fresh and perfectly spiced homemade pizza sauce using summer ripe tomatoes, and 2) it's grilled outdoors and comes out close to a stone oven baked crust!  This is summer cooking!

Grilled Margherita Pizza

Today we are making Classic Margherita Pizza out on the grill!  This is a great summer treat when you use a homemade tomato sauce using ripe summer tomatoes and flavor-popping herbs.  Cooking the pizza on pizza stones like these, give you that stone-oven pizza taste.  Take a little help by using a store bought pizza dough.  It will come out delicious and the simple toppings are just the right touch.

The homemade sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator several days.  Fresh, ripe summer tomatoes make this sauce really special, taking the pizza up another level.  The sauce is simple to make, one you'll want to make over and over.  Enjoy!

What Ingredients do I need?

  • pizza dough - store bought or homemade
  • fresh basil leaves
  • fresh mozzarella
  • Roma tomatoes
  • onion
  • garlic
  • dried basil, thyme, and oregano
  • tomato paste

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use homemade pizza dough
  • Use a jarred pizza sauce instead
  • Create different pizzas by using a variety of toppings

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Blanch the tomatoes to easily remove the skins
  • The pizza sauce can be made ahead a few days and stored in the refrigerator
  • Allow the pizza dough to sit out at room temperature about 2 hours so the dough rolls out easier
  • Top with fresh torn basil leaves after the pizza is cooked to avoid the basil from browning.

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Grilled Margherita Pizza

1/2 to 1 cup homemade pizza sauce (recipe below)
Fresh mozzarella - torn or sliced into pieces

Allow pizza dough to sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.  Take a piece or parchment paper and roll out the dough.  We cut our into 3rd making three small personal pizzas.  Place a sprinkling of cornmeal on a pizza peel or the back of a sheet pan and place the pizza dough on it.  Place the pizza sauce on the pizza and top with slices of mozzarella.

Heat grill to 450 degrees with the pizza stones already on the grill.  After about 10 minutes slide the pizzas on to the pizza stones.  Cover with grill lid and allow to cook about 10 minutes.  Pizza dough should be cooked and browned on the edges and bottom.  Remove from the stones to a cutting board.  Sprinkle with torn basil leaves.  Cut into slices and serve.

Fresh Tomato Pizza Sauce

2.5 pounds cored fresh whole tomatoes  
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried basil 
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoons tomato paste

1 store bought pizza dough
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make a small X in the bottom of each tomato and plunge into the boiling water until the skins are slightly loosened, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Peel with a paring knife, starting at the X.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (and any juice), basil, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until slightly thickened.

Transfer the sauce to a blender, add tomato paste and blend until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)

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