Can't live without pizza even in the heat? Turn up the grill

  • When the pizza is done baking, slide it off the bricks and onto the grill directly to get an extra crispy crust.

    When the pizza is done baking, slide it off the bricks and onto the grill directly to get an extra crispy crust. Courtesy of Biz Velatini

 
 
Posted6/9/2021 6:00 AM

If I were left on a desert island and only had one food I could eat for the rest of my life, hands down it would be pizza.

I've had a love affair with pizza my whole life. Unlike today where takeout is a staple, growing up ordering pizza and picking it up was a big deal. My Dad would walk in from work and declare, "it's pizza night!" I'd run and yell, "I'll go with you!" I don't remember the pizza being delivered in the late '70s, or maybe it was just easier to pick it up.

 

All I know is that my sister and I would join my Dad, and we would each hold a piping hot pizza on a cardboard box on our laps, not caring in the least if it was nearly too hot to hold.

It's not unusual for me to make pizza a couple of times a week in various forms -- whether it's thin crust, deep dish or making a calzone. I bake my pizza at 500 degrees, and when it's 90 degrees out, I just don't feel like heating my house with the oven on that hot.

A pizza sits on parchment paper on the bricks on the grill.
A pizza sits on parchment paper on the bricks on the grill. - Courtesy of Biz Velatini

So welcome to brick oven grilled pizza. I have a gas grill with three burners. I bought bricks from the local Home Depot for .58 cents each. At first, I thought I would need eight bricks, but in the end, I only needed six -- the pizza cooked nicely on top of the bricks on the grill, but I missed my beloved crispy crust. So, after baking the pizza with the lid on for 15 minutes, I turned the third burner on and finished it for 5 minutes straight on the grill. Best decision ever.

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The first pizza is what I am calling a Farmers Market Pizza that has a soft cheese sauce, zucchini, corn and red cabbage topped with mozzarella cheese. Once out of the oven, I added a little drizzle of jarred pesto.

The second pizza is a Spicy Pepperoni Pizza with spicy giardiniera made with a Rustic Pizza Sauce that is ready in about five minutes.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I love pizza!

• My Bizzy Kitchen runs once a month in Food. Follow Biz Velatini on her blog at mybizzykitchen.com/, on Instagram at instagram.com/mybizzykitchen/?hl=en and Facebook at facebook.com/mybizzykitchen.

Pizza Dough

2 cups flour

½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

½ cup water

1 teaspoon yeast

1 teaspoon salt

Mix the dough ingredients together in a bowl with a fork. Let rise in your microwave or oven for two hours. Store in a Ziplock bag. This dough will last seven days in the refrigerator and gets better the longer it sits in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the dough. I freeze in half portions. Simply place the dough in the fridge to defrost the night before you want to make it, or on your counter for a couple hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Makes enough for two 14-inch pizzas, or 4 individual pizzas

Rustic Pizza Sauce
Rustic Pizza Sauce - Courtesy of Biz Velatini
Rustic Pizza Sauce

1 teaspoon grapeseed oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

14 ounce can of tomato puree

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Heat a skillet over medium heat with the oil. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for five minutes. The tomato paste gives this a depth of flavor that makes it taste as if it's been simmering all day.

Makes enough for 2 to 4 pizzas.

A finished veggie pizza with a cheese sauce instead of traditional pizza sauce.
A finished veggie pizza with a cheese sauce instead of traditional pizza sauce. - Courtesy of Biz Velatini
Farmers Market Pizza

5 ounces of dough

3 tablespoons cheese spread (like Alouette)

1 small zucchini, sliced thin

1 corn on the cob, corn cut off with a knife

2 ounces mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons jarred pesto

Place six bricks on one side of your gas grill. Light the two burners on the left. Preheat for 15 minutes. Roll out dough on parchment paper. Top with the cheese spread, zucchini, corn, mozzarella cheese and Italian seasoning. Place parchment pizza on a baking sheet and carry to grill. Carefully place parchment paper with the pizza straight onto the bricks. Cover and cook for 13-15 minutes. Open grill and light third burner on the right. Carefully take pizza off the parchment paper and place it straight onto the grill. Close the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until it starts to char on the bottom. Garnish with the pesto.

A 14-inch pizza serves 2

Spicy Pepperoni Pizza

5 ounces of dough

½ cup of rustic pizza sauce

1 ounce pepperoni pizza

2 ounces mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon giardiniera

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Place six bricks on one side of your gas grill. Light the two burners on the left. Preheat for 15 minutes. Roll out dough on parchment paper. Top with the rustic pizza sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, giardineira and Italian seasoning. Place parchment pizza on a baking sheet and carry to grill. Carefully place parchment paper with the pizza straight onto the bricks. Cover and cook for 13-15 minutes. Open grill and light third burner on the right. Carefully take pizza off the parchment paper and place it straight onto the grill. Close the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until it starts to char on the bottom. Garnish with the basil.

A 14-inch pizza serves 2

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