Friday, July 23, 2010

Grilled Pizza with Fennel, Onions, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Kalamata Olives and Gruyere Cheese

Husband-Tested Recipe from the Kitchen of Alice Wootton
Dough Recipe makes 2 large pizzas.
Topping Recipe makes enough for 1 large pizza.

I've been making grilled pizza for years. It's fun and the pizza tastes better than anything you'd get at any pizza joint. You don't need a pizza pan or a pizza stone....just a grill, good pizza dough (homemade or store bought) and your favorite toppings. This dough is done very quickly in a food processor. It's flavored with a bit of oregano and marjoram. Rolled out thinly and grilled, it's cracker-like on the outside and chewy on the inside. Yum! Here, I topped it with gruyere cheese, caramelized fennel and onions, added some mushrooms and diced zucchini (what I had left in my fridge) and then gilded the lily with Kalamata olives. Sweet, salty and gooey altogether on a pizza. Yum! Make the dough in advance. Divide it and place one in a gallon size freezer bag that has been coated inside with cooking spray. Freeze it for later. Thaw in the fridge. Grill and top the other half. All of the ingredients can be found at Lost River Market & Deli. There is another post for grilled pizza with different toppings on this blog.

Pizza Dough (Makes 2 large pizzas)
1 cup warm water (105-115ºF)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 envelope dry yeast
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ Tablespoon each of dried Oregano and Marjoram

Combine water and sugar in food processor. Sprinkle yeast over; let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add oil, then flour, salt and dried herbs. Process just until dough comes together. Knead on floured surface about 5 minutes. Add flour if needed. Lightly oil a large bowl. Add the dough; turn to coat with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then a towel. Let the dough rise in warm place until doubled, about an hour. Punch down dough. Knead in the bowl about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll and stretch out dough (dough will be very elastic) on a floured surface. (*Dough can be made ahead and frozen. Spray the inside of a gallon size freezer bag with cooking spray. Place dough ball in the bag and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator and then bring to room temperature before grilling.) When in a pinch for time, you can use store-bought refrigerated pizza dough.

How To Grill a Pizza
Before beginning, be sure to have your topping ingredients prepped and ready to go. Grilling the pizza takes a short time. Brush the grill with olive oil. Heat the grill to medium. Place the pizza dough directly on the grill. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. When the bottom of the dough is brown and crisp, use tongs to flip it over. (Now the bottom is the top.) Don’t be alarmed if the dough bubbles, it’s normal. You can easily “pop” the bubbles with the tip of a knife. Brush the top with olive oil and top with your favorite toppings.*** When the bottom of the dough is brown and crisp and the cheese is melted, slide the pizza off the grill with tongs onto a cutting board. Use a large knife or pizza wheel to slice into servings.

Pizza Toppings (Enough for one large pizza.)
2 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
About 6 cremini mushrooms, sliced
¼ to ½ large zucchini, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 heaping Tablespoons of your favorite pizza sauce (I use Local Folks. You could also use crushed tomatoes.)
Scant ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
Approx. cups shredded gruyere cheese

Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a non stick skillet. Add fennel and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook at low heat until translucent and tender. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add 1 Tablespoon to skillet. Add mushrooms and zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender. Remove from heat and add to the fennel, onion mixture. (This part can be done several hours ahead.)

***After flipping the dough and brushing the dough with olive oil. Spread the two tablespoons of pizza sauce over the pizza dough thinly. Sprinkle the gruyere cheese evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with the fennel, onion, mushroom and zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with olives. Close the grill lid to allow the bottom of the crust to brown and the cheese to melt. Using tongs, slide pizza from the grill onto a cutting board for slicing and serving.

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