June 28, 2016
As kids, one of our absolute favorite events was a good old-fashion pizza party. Not only did we love eating pizza (who doesn’t?) we loved socializing and having fun with our friends! With that idea in mind, we thought about putting together an adult-style pizza party. Making pizza at home can be fast, easy, and so so delicious. Plus, there are endless options when it comes to style, dough, toppings, and methods for cooking.
As it turned out, our favorite way to prepare pizza was by grilling it. We could cook multiple pizzas at once. We could serve a wide variety of pizzas. And best of all, they turned out perfect every time. Grilling pizza gives you a crust that is crispy, smoky, and hot on the outside while being steamy, doughy and fresh on the inside. The cheese (when we use it) melted and bubbled beautifully while all the toppings warmed, cooked, and fragrantly teased or guests while they eagerly waited to chow down.
Next, check out the recipe we used for the dough, and some of our favorite topping recommendations:
Our favorite dough recipe came from Serious Eats. They always share amazing recipes and incredible cooking tips. They recommend using Neapolitan pizza dough for grilling. Click HERE for the recipe. The dough needs 8-12 hours to rise, so you need to start prepping the day before the party. Of course, if you don’t have time for homemade dough, there is nothing wrong with going store bought.
We recommend getting the dough ready before your guests arrive. On a heavily floured surface, roll balls of dough into ¼-inch thick pizzas of your desired size. Place them aside on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Feel free to stack them up, building a leaning tower-o-pizza to the sky. Just make sure to separate each one using parchment paper.
Once you are all set with dough, it is time for toppings! This is the fun part when you can get creative. Prepare and set aside:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Shredded Mozzarella, Jack, and/or Fontina Cheese
Grated Parmesan (For Topping)
These are the basic ingredients you will use on most, if not all of your pizzas. Now, choosing toppings for a grilled pizza is a little different than topping oven-baked pizzas. Grilled pizza dough cooks fast! So your toppings are not going to spend much time under the heat. They are definitely not going to have time to cook themselves. For this reason, you should choose toppings from the four following categories. Don’t worry, we will provide out favorite examples.
Grilled Vegetables: The grill is already running so why not use it to grill vegetables! Grilled vegetables make perfect toppings for grilled pizzas. Our recommendations include eggplants, asparagus, peppers, artichoke hearts, and onions.
Marinated/Preserved Toppings: Marinated/preserved toppings don’t require any prep and they are packed full of flavor. Whether they be vinegary, slightly sweet, or pure savory, they can be a great addition to your grilled pizza. Our recommendations include sun-dried tomatoes, olives, anchovies, giardiniera, and peppers.
Cooked/Cured Meat: When adding cured meat, it is important to apply sparingly. Cured meat is FULL of flavor and just a minute under the heat of the grill will cause it to release fragrant, tasty oils. Alternatively, you can add any cooked meat you have prepared ahead of time. We recommend prosciutto, salami, soppressata, mortadella, crumbled sausage, pepperoni, and even bacon!
Par-Cooked Veggies: By using par-cooked veggies you can really open up a lot of options. Par-cooking takes a little extra prep, but it can pay off big time. Our favorite par-cooked veggies include brussel sprouts, potatoes, roasted garlic, roasted fennel (yummm!) tomatoes, and even braised greens such as kale.
Ready to assemble your pizzas? Once the grill is smoking hot, brush the dough on each side with olive oil and drop in on the grates. It will only have to cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Have your toppings prepared! After the first flip, assembly the pizza quickly. Drop the lid on the grill to keep the heat in.
Once you pull the pizzas off the grill, garnish with salt, pepper and fresh herbs such as basil or scallions. You can also drizzle with olive oil for a little extra pizzazz! Cut the pizzas and lay them out somewhere people can gather, mingle, graze, and enjoy.
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