Grilled Pesto Pizzas
I promised you guys, and The Canadian, a second vegetarian dish using our Spinach Walnut Pesto recipe. Yesterday I had mentioned all the great ways to use pesto. One of the BEST ways to use it, however, is as a pizza sauce. Who doesn’t love pizza? This is a great way to add variety to your lives, any night of the week.
The best thing about this concept is that you can serve it at parties and make some vegetarian, like the ones I’ll show you how to make in just a sec, and you can make some non-vegetarian by putting on your favorite meat toppings like pepperoni or sausage or even grilled chicken. Have both, its a party! Live a little. Why not?
But this isn’t a meat show. This, my vegetarians out there, is a meat free environment…..or at least at the moment it is. Don’t thank me, thank The Canadian. Send your thanks over to thecanadian@meatfreeIheartveggies.com. Go ahead, do it now.
No, all kidding aside, don’t send anything to that. It’s not real. It doesn’t work. But we do have him to thank for these awesome vegetarian meals, so lets all say a big thanks to The Canadian.
Let’s get started, because I know you’re all excited for this one.
The first thing we need is pizza dough. If you’re feeling daring and extra ambitious make your own, and lucky for you, we already have a post for Basic Pizza Dough, remember? It is incredibly easy to whip up, and it makes all the difference in the world. If you don’t have the time, store bought is fine. I guess….Or you could even go to your neighborhood pizzeria, and buy some from there.
But really, trying making your own. Be up for the challenge. Go that extra mile! You’re a star. It’s your time to shine. You can do it!
Work with one at a time, placing the dough on a lightly floured surface.
Grab your rolling pin and roll out the dough into a circle, as best you can. As you’ll see later mine aren’t so much circles as they are geometric erh….”masterpieces,” yea, we’ll go with that.
Okay, this one is kind of circular, but just wait, the other ones aren’t. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you could just use your hands.
Toss it up in the air, like they do in pizzerias. Go ahead try it, its fun….just don’t drop it on the floor.
Roll it out as thin as possible without it actually tearing, it puffs up while it cooks so the thinner it is, the better.
Drizzle a little olive oil on it, so it wont stick to the grill.
Spread the olive oil all over and lets walk over to the grill.
I’m using a charcoal grill that I’ve gotten nice and scorching hot. I’m not sure if The Canadian has a grill, but if you don’t, you can definitely skip this step…..I’ll address all you non-grill owners in a second. For right now, this step is for my grill owners.
Once the coals are all white and hot, place your rolled out dough, oil side down onto the grill directly over the flames.
Let it cook, untouched, for about 3-5 minutes, or until it starts to bubble and puff at the top.
Once it looks like a giant pita bread, flip it over.
If you’ve never grilled pizza crust before, you’re missing out.
Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes. The second side tends to go quicker, and it’ll look like this.
Once crispy and charred, remove from the grill and take to the kitchen.
Set the first crust aside while you work with the rest.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Just in case you didn’t get it the first time, I’ll show you again.
Roll out the dough, as thin as possible and oil the top side with olive oil.
Take over to the grill and place oiled side down.
Cook until the top bubbles and puffs. (Woahhhh….déjà vu)
Once bubbly and puffed, flip the crust over and continue to cook.
When all the crusts are grilled, you’ll need some things to top the pizza with.
The star of the show: remember this guy?
I did tell you guys that I would use this for another recipe.
I don’t waste food when it’s this good.
Let’s also grab some grated Mozzarella cheese, sliced vine-ripe Tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and our grilled crusts.
**To all you non-grill owners: This is where you would walk in, instead of grilling the dough your’s would be raw. Just do everything we’re doing, but with the rolled out dough and once its completely topped place in a pre-heated 450 degree oven and bake until golden brown, crispy, and the cheesy is bubbly brown**
Okay grillers, I’m back.
Let’s assemble our pizzas.
Resist the temptation to just eat the pesto, right out of the bowl.
Must save it for the pizza.
Must save it for the pizza.
Dollop a spoonful of the delicious homemade pesto.
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle? Who am I kidding? Dump, loads, buckets full, blocks of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Add some parmesan.
Arrange the sliced tomatoes nicely around.
Sprinkle with more parmesan.
Grind fresh black pepper all over.
BTW — As you can see, my dough is not circular at all. Told ya.
Dollop Pesto Spread Pesto Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese Sliced Tomatoes Parm & Black Pepper
Repeat with the rest of the crusts.
Walk over back to the grill.
Place the pizzas on the grill and put the lid on it. We want to melt the cheese and re-crispen the crust.
Once the cheese is melted through, its perfectly done and we’re ready to eat.
I however, like bubbly brown cheese, which the grill does not provide me with. So I like to pop them under the broiler just for a few minutes, seconds really, just until the top is bubbly and brown.
This is completely optional.
Okay now it’s done.
Yup, The Canadian has the right idea.
If he can handle being a vegetarian for the rest of his life, I can manage for a few days, maybe a couple weeks. Especially if this is what I’m eating, I’ll be a vegetarian any day.
Cut the pizza and serve immediately. Grab some before it’s all gone. It’ll go by fast. Mark my words.
Who said pizza can’t be healthy and delicious at the same time? For that matter who said vegetarian food is boring and plain? Well let me tell you, this is phenomenal. Nothing boring about this one. We’ll see what The Canadian has to say about this….I’m guessing its a thumps way up.
Here’s the recipe, enjoy!
Grilled Pesto Pizzas
This is a Technicolor original. The pizza dough recipe makes either 4 small pizzas, 2 medium, or 1 extra large one.
- Pizza Dough (Get the recipe here)
- 1 Cup Spinach Walnut Pesto (Get recipe here)
- 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 4 Vine Ripe Tomatoes, thinly sliced
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- 4 tbs Olive oil
Roll out each pizza dough, one at a time, on a lightly floured work surface. Brush each crust with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Place the dough one or two at a time, depending on how big your grill is, oiled side down. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until the top has bubbled and puffed. Flip over and allow the second side to cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the grill, and repeat with the remaining crusts.
Once all crusts are grilled you’re ready to assemble the pizzas. Spread about 1/4 cup of pesto on each crust. Spread out evenly. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, parmesan, arrange tomato slices, and sprinkle with more parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper.
Return the pizzas to the grill and place the lid on it. Allow the cheese to melt and the crust to re-crispen.
If you’re like me and like the top golden brown, place the pizzas under a pre-heated broiler for a few seconds until the cheese bubbles and browns.
Allow to cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve immediately, this is great with our Grilled Corn from the Corn 3 Ways post. Enjoy.