Grilled Veggie Pizza


The very first thing I did this morning was drop $280 for an hour in the dentist’s chair getting my teeth scraped with a variety of picks. I would have preferred a new pair of John Fluevog boots, or a flight to Vegas, or something. The day got more expensive from there: a $5000+ estimate on near-future dental work, and the same from the roofer. I think somewhere along the way I forgot to marry rich. Who came up with the phrase love OR money, anyway? (One of the downfalls of being self-employed: no dental plan. I think I need a dentist boyfriend to see on the side. Mike would totally understand. So if anyone knows any available dentists, you know, I’m game. Too bad crowns aren’t exactly a fair trade for cookies.)

So dinner was on the cheap. Awhile ago I grilled far too many vegetables (or did it too late in the evening, after everyone had had too many mojitos and cared only about the prime rib), and so after a couple grilled veg sandwiches I pulsed the rest in the food processor and froze it, thinking I’d sneak it into some future pasta sauce. Instead I pulled it out and turned it into an easy pizza topping.

It was also a great opportunity to make pizza on the grill again. A lot of people talk about this, but it seems to me even more are freaked out by it, thinking (and rightly so) that the raw dough is going to fuse to the grill, or sink down between the slats, or do something weird. It doesn’t. If you fire up the grill, crank it up and leave it until it’s nice and hot, then slap a big rolled out piece of dough directly onto it (brush the dough with some oil first if it makes you feel better, but you totally don’t have to), it will cook up all nice and crusty and grill-marked. Pizza dough makes great flatbread to serve with dips – simply flip it over, brush with garlicky oil and when it’s toasty on both sides, take it off and cut into pieces or break into shards. Otherwise, flip it over and spread the browned side with pizza sauce, toppings and grated cheese; turn the heat down a bit and close the lid, creating an oven environment that will melt the cheese and heat the toppings through just like your inside oven would. The grill is the best way to cook frozen pizzas, even – the bottom gets nice and crisp, never soggy with that high, direct heat – and you don’t have to heat up the house.

Basic Pizza Dough

Plain or flavoured pizza dough also makes great breadsticks – roll the risen dough into sticks as thin or fat as you like, sprinkle with coarse salt or grated Parmesan cheese and bake until golden.

1 cup lukewarm water
1 pkg. (or 2 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar or honey
2 1/2 – 3 cups flour – all purpose, whole wheat, or any combination of the two (I usually use about 2 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. salt
a drizzle (1 tsp. – 1 Tbsp.) olive or canola oil

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar; set aside for 5 minutes, until it’s foamy. (If it doesn’t get foamy, either your water was too hot and killed the yeast or it was inactive to begin with – toss it and buy fresh yeast or try again!)

Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, salt and oil and stir until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 8 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat all over. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for half an hour to an hour, until doubled in bulk. If you want you can let it rise more slowly in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

Roll the dough out into one or two pizzas. Spread the pizza dough with tomato sauce or paste, sprinkle with desired toppings and bake on a preheated pizza stone or cookie sheet at 450F for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and golden, or cook on the grill (see above).

Makes enough dough for 2 – 9” pizzas, or one big rectangular one.

Per slice (based on 12 slices): 111 calories, 0.7 g total fat (0.1 g saturated fat, 0.3 g monounsaturated fat, 0.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 3.2 g protein, 22.5 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.1 g fiber. 6% calories from fat

To make flavored pizza dough: add a generous pinch of chopped fresh or dried basil, rosemary or oregano, a clove of minced garlic, a few finely chopped olives or sun dried tomatoes (if they come packed in oil, use it in place of the olive oil) or 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper along with the flour.

At 6:20 I realized I had to be at a meeting on the opposite end of the city at 7, and had promised to bring something edible. Oops. The last few spoonfuls of grilled veg went into the food processor with about half a dozen slow-roasted tomatoes from the fridge, a few pieces or leftover roasted broccoli and cauliflower, some grated Parmesan, a spoonful of pesto, glug of olive oil and drizzle of balsamic. It was kind of a weird vegetable tapenade of sorts – people said they liked it, but were very possibly just trying to be nice. I think it would have been fine on pasta though, with a little crumbled feta or soft goat cheese swirled in.

(It is unfortunately one of those foods that is almost impossible to photograph without looking regurgitated.)

One Year Ago: Bagels


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27 comments on “Grilled Veggie Pizza

  1. thepinkpeppercorn
    June 11, 2009 at 4:27 am

    OH SO CUTE!!!!

  2. Dana McCauley
    June 11, 2009 at 5:08 am

    That’s a fantastic picture! Sorry to hear about the dental, roofer, etc estimates. Being your own boss definitely leads to days like that.

  3. Carolyn
    June 11, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Don’t get me started about dentists and the price they charge! Even with a dental plan, it’s ridiculously expensive. Anyhow, good luck with all the expenses. You do so much for others, I hope someone pays it forward to you! Your fridge of leftovers sounds amazing. I can only dream of having so many wonderful things to whirl together!

  4. Morgan
    June 11, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Life just can’t be cheap, eh? The pizza looks delicious!

  5. Cheryl Arkison
    June 11, 2009 at 5:37 am

    I made pizza the other night, but was happy to have the oven warm the house! Because it was after 5 when I decided to make pizza for dinner I found a recipe that didn’t necessitate the dough to rise for an hour. Can you believe I found one, and it didn’t taste like a brick?
    Love that picture of W. I’m happy to see I’m not the only one who lets their kid climb on the counter.

  6. Barb
    June 11, 2009 at 5:47 am

    I had a go-round with the roofer recently. Still haven’t recovered.

    I fall into the “scared to try” grilling a pizza category. Since I have seen two or three recommendations for it almost back to back I am thinking hard about it again.

  7. April
    June 11, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Having recently experimented with grilled pizza I have one tip for those who are thinking about trying it for the first time. If you are using a gas grill, like I did, make sure you know where the hot spots are located– the first time I did it I ended up with burnt dough!

  8. Dana
    June 11, 2009 at 6:18 am

    I am afraid to grill pizza. I appreciate your encouragement and will definitely try this summer.

  9. Dragana
    June 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Ha! I made the same thing last night with purchased dough that took forever to defrost. By the way, I am a long time lurker and love your recipes and blog.

  10. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Grilled pizza is the best! I slap the dough on to crisp, flip it and add the sauce, toppings and cheese, then back onto the grill to crisp the underside. When cheese is melted I run it under the house oven’s broiler just to get it all bubbly and golden. Our current favorite is Mango & Brie with hot pepper flakes!

  11. Jen
    June 11, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I’m sure after the crummy day you had this scrumptious looking pizza tasted like a million bucks!

    Simply adorable first photo too :)

  12. Aimee
    June 11, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Uh, nothing like a dentist wake-up call to put a damper on summer shopping. Sucks.

  13. Nancy
    June 11, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Yum! Regurgitated stuff looks yum! I’d eat it. Also the grilled pizza is great and your dough recipe is great!

    PS My dentist is lovely, and I think she’d LOVE you! :)

  14. Melanie
    June 11, 2009 at 11:33 am

    We took the plunge and grilled pizza lots this past fall – I think that you, Julie, had done it on CBC one morning and it convinced us to try it. We really loved it and would do it again!
    We did find that we needed to remove the pizza directly from the BBQ after the first side was done, in order to put on the toppings with out getting the other side too crispy. We may have even slid it on some tinfoil. It may have had to do with how windy Cochrane is – we have trouble maintaining good heat in the BBQ so it took a while to heat the toppings through.

  15. Kate
    June 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I agree with Carolyn. You have the most amazing ingredients “hanging around” in your kitchen!
    I love the grilled veggies as a sauce for the pizza.
    NEVER would have come up with that one.
    Thanks again, again!

  16. Emma
    June 11, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I saw Grazing at Chapters this past weekend, and I can’t wait until school is out so that I can start making things from it.
    There are some great-looking recipes in there!
    Keep writing cookbooks!

  17. margo
    June 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    If you have a pizza stone, you can also heat it briefly on the grill, then cook your pizza on it, lid up or down. I cover the bottom of my stone with a piece of foil so it doesn’t completely blacken, and you can preheat it or not. If you want grill marks and flavor, slide it off the stone briefly at the end, keeping an eye on it. This is a compromise, but I love the results baking crusts on the stone, and it’s a fantastic way to cook when (*if*?!) the house gets too hot to cook pizza in the summer. Throw on some vine-ripened, just picked tomatoes (again, sunshine and heat would help matters!), and garden-grown basil… yummm! (It’s also a compromise which helps prevent those burnt, disappointing results, which is no fun if you’ve made homemade crusts.)

  18. Pat
    June 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    I love the way you handle whatever life throws at you.

  19. Cory Lievers
    June 11, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    oh julie, you’re killing me. lol.

  20. rea
    June 12, 2009 at 7:00 am

    julie, i wondered if you’re aware of the what a membership in the Calgary Chamber of Commerce entails. you can purchase benefits through their program at a reduced cost to your company. meeting rooms at a reduced cost and some other stuff, too. it does cost to join but the rate is fixed to the size of your company. just a thought.

  21. Tina
    June 12, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    This is a little out of left field, but something was kind of nagging at me about the tag line; I couldn’t quite put my finger on it till I stopped thinking about it. I think it’s maybe a little Hansel and Gretel-ish? What about “Join me in my Kitchen”?

  22. Farmgirl Susan
    June 14, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I don’t know which I love more – that priceless photo of your little dough boy, or the idea of blending up roasted vegetables to use as pizza sauce. Thank you for them both! :)

  23. shayne
    June 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    My husband has thounds of dollars worth of work he needs done to his mouth so he had the work done in Serbia for about $130 USD. that paid for the trip.

    I love the photo of the boy and dough (I just found your blog, not sure who everyone is yet) I love making pizza with kids and pizza on the grill too for that matter.

    so far with the first p[ost I am very much enjoying your blog, thanks.

  24. shayne
    June 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    My husband has thounds of dollars worth of work he needs done to his mouth so he had the work done in Serbia for about $130 USD. that paid for the trip.

    I love the photo of the boy and dough (I just found your blog, not sure who everyone is yet) I love making pizza with kids and pizza on the grill too for that matter.

    so far with the first p[ost I am very much enjoying your blog, thanks.

  25. Jess
    June 25, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Julie, you hit my pizza-grilling fear right on the head. But after reading this post, I’m ready to give it a go. I have just one question: I realize that times on the grill are approximate in any case, but about how long should I grill the dough on one side before flipping and topping? And then about how long unti it’s done?

  26. Cgymomof2
    January 13, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I have had this little clipping from the herald or swerve for more than a year and never made the pizza dough. I now realize it must have been your recipe! It’s very condensed compared to the one you have here!
    I must say I was incredibly pleased with the way it turned out.
    Reading your blog and seeing your various articles and following you on twitter (gee I sound like a stalker!). Makes me want to be a better cook and take more time to enjoy the simple things like showing my kids how the pizza dough is made and becomes the pizza.
    Thanks for sharing and blogging! :)

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