1 heart of romaine lettuce or 1 head of romaine stripped down to the heart
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
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Binny's Beverage Depot pairingsBinny's suggestions for pairings with outdoor pizza
Les Vignoles Saumur Champigny: From the Loire Valley in France, experience Cab Franc the way it was meant to be! Light on its feet & truly a great companion to Outdoor Pizza. The cassis and black cherry fruit have great lift and energy and its bonus is the mineral and spice streaks that really increase the interest.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager: "Golden in color with a slight haze…malt nose with crisp hops. Very fresh smelling. The original taste is one of malt and slight bitterness on the tongue… The finish is also quite smooth"
• Check out these offering and more at the new Binny's, 69 W. Rand Road, Arlington Heights; (847) 870-9890.
Kosher salt to taste
¼ cup uncooked grits or polenta, for rolling the dough
1 ball prepared pizza dough, at room temperature
Drizzle of B&E Drizzle-icious Infused Oil (see note)
1 cup tomato-basil pasta sauce
8 strips center-cut bacon, cooked until crisp, then crumbled
6 ounces Saga or other blue cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the grill per the master instructions for gas or charcoal.
Cut the romaine heart in half lengthwise, keeping the core intact. Brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt. Place on the cooking grate directly over the heat. Grill until the outer leaves are charred but the inside is still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Let cool, then cut and discard the core and slice crosswise into ½-inch-wide ribbons. Reserve for topping.
Roll out and shape the dough, then grill the first side of the crust per the master instructions. Use tongs to transfer it from the grill to a peel or rimless baking sheet. Flip the crust to reveal the grilled side. Drizzle the entire surface with the infused oil, then top with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the bacon and cheese.
Finish grilling the pizza per the master instructions.
Remove from the grill, top with the romaine, and season with salt and pepper. Slice and serve immediately.
Serves two to four.
To make B&E Drizzle-icious Infused Oil: Pour out 3 tablespoons from a 16-ounce bottle of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil. Into the bottle stuff 5 cloves garlic (slightly crushed), 3 dried red chile peppers, zest of 1 orange (removed with a vegetable peeler; use outer orange layer of peel only), 3 sprigs fresh rosemary and 1 tablespoon multicolor peppercorns. Seal and refrigerate at least 2 days before using. This will keep, tightly capped and refrigerated, for up to a month.
Cook's note: Try this with Australia's most popular grape: Shiraz. Its full fruit and luscious quality make it a great match for the smoky bacon and grilled lettuce.
"Pizza on the Grill" by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer (Tauton Press, 2012)