Grilled pizza is probably my number one favorite indulgence during the summer months. I’m usually not a huge “pizza” girl. I can take it or leave it. But grilled pizza is a whole other category of pizza. Especially when it’s made with homemade dough and topped with beautiful summer veggies.
During the past few months of quarantine, I’ve been on kind of a sourdough kick. I make sourdough bread a few times a week. So I have a few “starters” going at all times. But the thing about starters is that to keep them alive, you have to discard a little each day. So I’m always looking for new ways to use my sourdough starter discard. And so, of course, pizza dough was one of the first things I tried.
We’ve always been big into making our own pizza dough. It’s honestly so easy and only requires a few ingredients. This has been our “go to” pizza dough recipe for a few years. It’s great basic pizza dough. You can’t go wrong.
But lately, I really wanted a recipe that could utilize my sourdough starter, so I searched high a low. We’ve tried out several, and each came out a little different. Probably my favorite to date has been this King Arthur’s recipe for sourdough pizza. It’s great because it uses a little bit of sourdough starter AND a little yeast. So it has a great tang, chew, and gets nice and crispy – but still guarantees a great rise. I am NOT a pizza dough expert, so I’m definitely turned to the experts here when it came to a recipe for my dough.
One of the other things that really make a difference with grilling your own pizza is a baking steel. When we moved from Connecticut a few years ago to Chicago, our good friends gave us a baking steel as a going-away present and we absolutely love it. I don’t know how we ever grilled pizza before this. It’s been hands down one of my favorite kitchen items and an absolute must if you make your own pizza. Ps…it works just as amazing in the oven, I just love using the grill.
The key is to get them really hot before you place your pizza either on the grill or in the oven. I like to let our steel heat up for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Now on the fun part, the toppings!
The great thing about pizzas is that you can really use anything you have on hand. And usually, in the summer months, we have A LOT on hand. I love having fresh beautiful produce in our house during the summer months. We love to add a little summer squash, zucchini, fresh heirloom tomatoes. Really anything goes.
For this pizza, I had a little leftover grilled corn that I wanted to use and a few jalapenos that I found in the fridge. I charred up the jalapenos on while the grill was heating up to mellow out some of their heat. I love grilled corn, but it can be really sweet on a pizza, so the heat from the jalapeno balances out the sweetness really well.
Then for the cheese, instead of using a traditional mozzarella, I used fresh whole milk ricotta with a little olive oil mixed in, and a lot of salt and pepper. It was creamy and salt and brought everything together.
This has to be hands down one of my favorite pizzas to date. But if you don’t have corn or jalapenos, really anything would work. The key here really is the dough and your grill. The rest is up to your imagination. So have fun with it!
- Pizza dough (we use this sourdough pizza dough recipe, but any pizza dough would work)
- 2 ears of grilled corn, shucked
- 2 jalapenos, charred on the grill and sliced thin
- 1 cup of San Marzano tomato puree (or other tomato sauce of your choice)
- 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
- 4 tbsp of good quality olive oil
- a handful of basil, roughly chopped
- salt/pepper to taste
- baking steel
- parchment paper
- Place your baking steel in the center of your grill and preheat your grill and baking steel to 500 degrees. (For our grill, this is high heat with all three of our burners on)
- Allow your baking steel to heat for 20-30 minutes while you make your pizzas
- To begin making your pizzas, divide your dough in half and shape into two even-sized balls. Gently, working with a rolling pin on a lightly flowered surface, roll your dough out into a circle about ¼ thick. It doesn't have to be perfectly round. Just make sure it's even. Then transfer to a piece of parchment paper.
- Add about ¼ cup of tomato puree to each pizza and spread evenly. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl add the ricotta cheese and about 2 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt/pepper. Mix well and then add generous "dollops" of cheese onto each pizza. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect. Feel free to spread the cheese around or keep it in little clumps.
- Then top each pizza with a handful of the grilled corn and jalapeno slices. Now you're ready to grill
- Working carefully, using the parchment paper, gently place one pizza at a time on the baking steel and close the lid of the grill. Allow the pizza to cook 5-7 or until the crust begins to get brown and bubbly. Again, working carefully, and using the parchment paper as a "handle", slide your pizza off the grill and onto a cutting board.
- Allow the pizza to cool for 3-5 minutes. Then slice, drizzle with the remaining tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with chopped basil, and give a little sprinkle of sea salt to finish.
- Repeat with the second pizza and enjoy!
For more summer inspiration be sure to check out our roasted tomato and grilled corn maftoul salad and our Caprese pasta salad.