|Making a grilled pizza is fast and delicious. This one is dairy free.|
How did a nice Jewish girl with roots in Iraq, India and China become an expert on grilling pizzas? Dianne Jacob did it by making every one of the more than 75 recipes repeatedly in Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas (DK Publishing), her cookbook on the topic with Chef Craig W. Priebe.
Jacob is a Mizrachi Jew whose family traces its lineage back to first Iraq and then India before settling in Shanghai. Her parents immigrated to Canada after World War II. She doesn't recall eating pizza before she was an adult. Jacob, who lives in Oakland, also never did much grilling before working on the cookbook, but working on the cookbook made her a fan.
“Grilled pizza isn't about being perfect; it is not about have the exact shape, it’s rustic,” she said. “You don’t need a pizza stone or any special equipment.”
You also don’t need a grill. You can make also make these pizzas on an indoor grill, grill pan or skillet. To do so, preheat until hot, brush with oil and cook until crust is golden brown. You can also use commercially available dough or crusts or sturdy flat breads instead of homemade dough.
Turn the extra tomato sauce into a classic pizza by brushing the top of a grilled crust with 1 Tbs. olive, dusting with 1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the sauce and 1-2 cups of shredded cheese(s) of your choice. Finish on the grill as directed below.
All recipes below adapted with permission from Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas by Craig W. Priebe with Dianne Jacob.
Makes 1-12” pizza
1 grilled crust (see recipe)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. plus 1 Tbs. tahini
1 cup tomato sauce (see below)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
12 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
Spiced Lamb (see below)
1 Tbs. pomegranate molasses
Brush the grilled side of the crust with oil. Drizzle 1 Tbs. of tahini and drop spoonfuls of tomato sauce on top. Add onions, garlic olives, and Spiced Lamb. Drizzle with remaining tahini and pomegranate molasses. Cook as directed in Grilled Crust recipe.
Tomato Sauce: Chop 1 small clove garlic and 8 large fresh basil leaves until fine. Mix with 1 1/2 lbs. diced, cored tomatoes (or use 2-14.5 cans, drained). Mix in 2 Tbs. tomato paste, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 3/4 tsp. ground black pepper and 1/2 tsp. sugar. Stir well. Add more tomato paste if watery. Chill for an hour. Makes 2 cups.
Spiced Lamb: Brown 8 oz. ground lamb. Stir in 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, 1/4 tsp. ground allspice, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, 1 minced garlic clove and 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Variation: Sprinkle on crumbled feta cheese to taste after you drizzle on the pomegranate molasses.
The Ballard Lox
Makes 1-12” pizza
1 grilled pizza crust (see recipe)
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 Tbs. grated Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Fontina
4 cups roughly chopped arugula
1 lemon, halved
6 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon
10 small cherry tomatoes, halved and seasoned with salt and pepper, optional
Freshly ground black pepper, optional
Brush grilled side of crust with 1 Tbs. of oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan, mozzarella and Fontina cheese.
Place remaining oil in large skillet, heat on high. Add arugula and squeeze lemon over it. Toss greens just long enough to wilt. Immediately transfer to pizza in small clumps. Roll salmon slices into small bundles and place atop arugula. Cook as directed in Grilled Pizza Crust recipe. Garnish with tomatoes and black pepper.
Grilled Pizza Crust
Makes 2 Crusts
Basic Dough (see below)
Flour as needed
Cornmeal as needed
When dough is ready to use, punch down dough. Lightly flour work surface. Flatten dough to about 1” thick. Cut in half with a knife. Put one piece in center of floured space. Sprinkle a little flour on top. Roll out to a rough circle about 12” in diameter and 1/8” thick. Sprinkle with fine layer of flour.
Flip a cookie sheet so bottom is up. Sprinkle generously with cornmeal so dough with not stick. Pick up crust with two hands and fold in half. Transfer to back of cookie sheet and unfold, stretching out again if needed. Repeat with second crust (or refrigerate for up to 3 days).
Preheat charcoal or gas grill until medium heat or medium high (about 400 degrees) according to manufacturer’s directions. Using tongs transfer crust from cookie sheet. If it folds over itself, quickly spread open. The dough should take about 3 minutes to cook. Bubbles should form on top. Don’t check until dough begins to firm up. Lift underside. It should be golden brown with grill marks. Bits of char add flavor.
Using tongs and or spatula return crust to back of cookie sheet. Flip so grilled side is up. Add toppings. Shift grill to indirect heat. Slide pizza onto side without coals or flames. Grill for about 5-8 minutes. Move pizza around grill if necessary. Slide pizza onto cutting board. Cut and serve immediately
Basic Dough: Add 1 packet dry yeast (2 1/4 tsps.) and 1/2 tsp. sugar to 3/4 cup warm water. Stir until yeast dissolves. Let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes) to make sure yeast is active. Stir together 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. kosher salt and 2 Tbs. cornmeal in a large bowl. Mix in yeasted water and 2 Tbs. olive oil. Mix well with a strong spoon. Lightly flour a clean, dry work surface. Form a ball of dough and knead for 8 minutes until smooth. Add only enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Add 1/4 tsp. olive oil in a medium bowl. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in draft-free, warm place for 2 hours until it almost doubles in size. Chill dough in bowl for 1 hour or overnight in refrigerator.