June 22, 2009

Fathers Day Hit: Grilled Pizza

OK, I'm starting to sense a theme here. Relatively healthy-eating girl goes completely off the wagon on the weekends and falls deep into the "gluttonous fat-ass" abyss. I'd like to share with my two readers the recipe for gluttony, which can be had with a little prep work and a grill. You can put any toppings you like on the pizza. Here is the one that was the biggest hit on Father's Day.

Grilled Whole Wheat Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Sausage, Roasted Tomatoes, and Fontina Cheese


  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

  • 1 large vidalia or sweet onion

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 fresh sausage links, casing removed

  • 1 blob of pizza dough. I get Whole Foods whole wheat ready made dough in the freezer section. Works perfectly. You can also get dough at your local pizzeria. Or you can make it.

  • 1 cup of grated fontina cheese

  • 1 cup of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin (not the shredded crap)


Up to a day in advance, prep your toppings. I did mine the day before and it made the pizza making process more fun and super easy. So, the day before, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cherry tomatoes in some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them on a sheet pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a glass bowl or tupperware, cover, and refrigerate. Now, cut the vidalia onion in thin rings and toss them with olive oil. Spread on a sheet pan and sprinkle with brown sugar and some kosher salt. Take the butter and break off little pieces and sprinkle on top of the onions. Roast in the 450 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the onions become a little charred. You can roast the onions and the tomatoes at the same time. Transfer the onions to a glass bowl or tupperware, cover, and refrigerate. Now for the sausage. Remove the sausage from the casings, crumble them up into little pieces, and saute in a skillet over high heat until the sausage is browned. When done, transfer to a glass bowl or tupperware, cover, and refrigerate. Ok, so now your prep work is done. Go have a glass of wine and dream about the pizza you are going to have tomorrow.

Now, for the fun part. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees again. Get your dough and roll it out onto a wooden pizza paddle. I find that using a floured rolling pin helps. Also, I hand-stretch the dough to get it into the shape I want. Know that the shape will not be perfect, it will be more of a circular rectangle. It's fine, nobody cares. Brush olive oil onto both sides of the dough and then put some flour on the pizza paddle. Your oiled dough should now be on the floured pizza paddle. Now, heat your grill to high. Using the pizza paddle, transfer the dough onto the hot grill, right onto the grates. Listen, this takes a bit of practice and having 2 people helps. I made five pizzas yesterday and three looked, shall we say, a little special. Two looked gorgeous. All tasted amazing so who cares? Ok, back to the grilling. Shut the grill and let the dough cook for about 1 minute. Don't walk away, the shit will burn!! Take a peek under the dough and if there are grate marks and it's starting to blacken, then flip. Leave the lid open for cooking the other side. Cook for about 2 minutes. Take your dough off the grill, transfer it to a baking sheet, and top it with the grated fontina cheese, sliced mozzarella cheese, sausage, onions, and tomatoes. Finish it in the oven by cooking for 10 minutes or until all the cheese has melted. This was my method. Some people, after flipping the pizza dough the first time, will put their toppings on and let them melt while still on the grill. I found that I had more control over the final product if I concentrated on grilling the dough first and then dealing with building in the toppings later using the oven. Anyway, 7 adults polished off 5 huge pizzas last night. Happy freakin' Father's Day!

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