I think pizza is by far one of the best things you can make on an outdoor grill. During the summer, I grill pizza at least once a week. Our bakery makes the best fresh pizza dough—which is the hardest part about homemade pizza. It’s one of those hidden gems that once customers find it, they can’t get enough of. It looks a little intimidating in the package, but it’s very soft and fairly sticky, and it’s coated in a generous layer of olive oil to give it great flavor. I love to leave mine out on the counter for several hours before I roll it so that the gluten relaxes. (Warmer dough is much easier to work with.) You’ll want to use a fair amount of flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and your work surface, and work it gently. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with a thin, tender-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside crust that is so tasty you could probably eat it plain.
Make-your-own pizza is obviously a crowd-pleasing affair, with everyone able to pick their favorite toppings, but, for me, it’s also a somewhat self-serving choice. I probably have the most adventurous palate in my family, and pizza gives me a chance to enjoy the foods and flavors I love that no one else does.
My pie is usually loaded with alternative sauces and “unpopular” veggies, and it’s almost always topped with olives and drizzled with something my kids think is “weird.” But, it’s the prettiest of the pack every single time, the most colorful and most interesting to behold, by a longshot—and, quite often, someone wants to trade me a slice. I’m happy to oblige. As much as I love my oddball creations, I’m always game for a bite of good old sausage and pepperoni.
I top my Middle-Eastern-inspired ‘za with:
- baba ganoush (find it in the Deli Grab & Go Case near the hummus)
- sweet pickled peppers from the Olive Bar
- Kalamata olives
- cherry tomatoes
- chopped roasted and salted pistachios
- fresh mint
- spicy honey
1 pkg. Kowalski’s prepared pizza dough (from the Bakery or Deli Department)
Flour, for working the dough
Cooking spray or olive oil, for the dough
Cheese and toppings of your choice, to taste
- Let dough stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before use.
- Pull dough into 2 equal-sized pieces.
- On a generously floured surface, use lightly floured hands to roll dough into 2 thin 8–10″ circles, beginning in the center of the dough and working outward toward the edge, turning dough as needed to prevent sticking. Tap dough to remove excess flour.
- Heat a grill on both sides to very high heat with lid down; turn one side off (or move coals to one side).
- Spray dough lightly on one side with cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil; place 1–2 crusts at a time (as space permits), oiled side down, directly over the heat.
- Grill crusts, lid down, until dark grill marks form on the first side (1–2 mintes); flip and grill second side until just dry and set (about 30 seconds).
- Remove crusts from grill; arrange toppings on the darker side of the crust, being sure not to overload the dough.
- Return pizzas to the cool side of the grill; let stand, lid down, until cheese is melted and bubbly and toppings are hot (about 2 minutes).
- Remove pizzas from grill; let stand for 1 minute before slicing.
Rachael Perron is the culinary and brand director for Kowalski’s Markets, where she specializes in product development and selection, culinary education and communications.