Greenscycle and Grilled Pizza

25 06 2009

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Thank GOD greens don’t weigh much, because we’re positively smothered by them over here. Between our produce box and our generous Fidel Castro look-alike neighbor (from the younger era, not the wizened, grey, cigar-chomping guy of late. Come to think of it, the only similarity might be the hat.  I’ve never seen our neighbor in full fatigues. He does, however, speak Spanish.), we’ve gotten torso-sized bunches of at least 6 different kinds of organic greens. That seems great, right? Not when you realize there are only two people in your house and greens go bad FAST and you can only eat SO MANY of them in one day before you start feeling really, really weird.

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Grilled pork medallions over a bed of greens. Sauteed greens on toast w/ an egg on top. Giant green salads. Wilted greens over grilled polenta. Greens on sandwiches. Greens in smoothies. Greens “accidentally” dropped on the floor to be eaten by the dogs. You get the picture.  

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They’re delicious and so good for me, though. And I really appreciated Fidel Jr.’s gift from his tremendous urban garden. So I wanted to do something in return. You know, a neighborly gesture. Because I’m really sure he’s going to be overwhelmed with artichokes soon, and I do want some of that booty.  Gotta keep the cycle of giving going, see? The Greenscycle! So I whipped up a batch of dough for European Peasant Bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (what a book! Life-changing would not be an overstatement). I love this particular bread. It makes me want to put on a loose white blouse with puffy sleeves and dance around a maypole while carrying a shovel. Or whatever it is that European peasants do.  

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The dough served two purposes. Firstly, it helped me use up even more of those pesky delicious greens. See, I used some gobs of it for pizza dough for some greensmania pizzas, heavy on the greens. Secondly, the rest of the dough was baked up into two rustic-looking loaves to be given to Fidel Jr. I know, you’re thinking, It’s summer, she’s bonkers for heating up the oven. Yes and no. I grilled the pizza outside, and then waited until late at night to bake the bread, after everything had cooled down. But I am bonkers for a lot of other reasons, you are right about that.

I know EVERYONE’S making grilled pizza these days, but in case you haven’t done it yet and it seems confusing, here are some tips:

Any sort of dough recipe works. I’ve never had one fail, and even if it wasn’t the best recipe, I’d never have known because the grill lends such a great flavor. So, make your dough using any recipe. I’ve even used store-bought, and that works great, too. The Euro farmer dough worked beautifully for pizza.

First get the grill nice and hot. I usually crank it up to high (we’ve got a gas grill).

Roll out the dough into whatever sized pizza(s) you’d like. I’ve done tiny pizzas (starting to think I might have a strange “thing” for tiny foods) and I’ve done large ones. The smaller ones, like a personal size, are definitely easier to deal with on the grill, but the large ones are not impossible.  

After you roll them out (or just stretch them if you’re a little lazy like me), transport them to the grilling area. Oil the grill (very important, helpful step, I think!). I use canola oil on a paper towel, and avoid finger burns by holding the towel with tongs. Then grill the dough slabs. It’s hard to give an exact time here, since it depends on your grill and the size of your pizzas. I usually hang out by the grill and peek every couple of minutes. It won’t take long. You want the dough to become sturdy, but not entirely darkened–still a little doughy in the thick spots, maybe.  I usually grill for a couple of minutes on one side, and then use a metal flipper to turn them over and grill the other side for a few more minutes.

When the crusts are mostly cooked, rush inside to the pizza topping staging area. Top them with whatever you like. In our case last night, it was piles and piles of greens–spinach and arugula, with some tomato paste, pesto (left over from the Great Basil Flood), tomatoes, zucchini, and some random cheese we had in the fridge.

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Now head back to the grill, and finish off the pizzas. I leave them on until the cheese is melty and the toppings are cooked, but I always have to watch the crusts. You want to avoid a blacked crust disaster.

Really, if you haven’t done it, it’s a great way to use up extra veggies or meats or whatever’s lying around, and it doesn’t heat the house up. Unless you count the heated fervor that R goes into whenever we have pizza. That’ll get the place warmed up, I tell you.  

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4 responses

26 06 2009
RJ Hurst

So I go into a pizza fervor. No big deal.

27 06 2009
Uncle D

I’m learning to cook and i love this site. keep it coming!

27 06 2009
christie133

Thank you! 🙂 R’s been pestering me for a while to do this. Now that’s it’s summer, I finally had time to think about it.

15 07 2009
Santiago

Everything looks amazing but the pizza really got to me. Well so did the coffee cake and the …okay so it all looks super!

Keep it coming.

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