This has been the summer of grilling for me.
Crispy broccoli. Caramelized onions. Charred corn. Homemade bean burgers. You name it, and likely I’ve been grilling it with friends and favorites in my life.
And as of last week, we can add pizza to that list, a collab between Emily from Nourishing Matters and I. Dare I say, Emily’s pizza dough recipe may have produced the best whole wheat crust I’ve ever tasted. Add grill marks to it, and it easily surpasses any standard, junkie-white-flour alternative. I could’ve eaten it on its own, sans all the other pizza ingredients, minus perhaps a little smear of her herbed pesto.
Inspired by the latest bounties displayed at the farmer’s market, Emily and I brainstormed different topping options and settled upon this super summery-themed pizza. Fresh corn, grated zucchini and garden herb pesto…does the season get any better than that?
We added a goat feta on top to lend a punch of saltiness and flavor that wouldn’t take too much away from the sweetness of the fresh ingredients at hand. Perfecto.
While this might come across as a lot of work to make when giving a quick glance to the recipe below, rest assured this pizza can be fairly effortless.
Emily recommends making the dough the night before, which she ensures takes no time at all. How could that be? A food processor does all of the labor for you. Score.
You could make the pesto ahead of time, too, which again calls in a food processor to do all the work. (Food processors, always for the win.)
Once those steps are squared way, the pizza becomes as simple as a roughly five-minute stint on the grill. Although, be sure to pay attention at this step! Divert your eyes for too long, and your dough can quickly get charred far past that perfect crispness we’re seeking here with grilling the crust.
Don’t worry though. Grilled pizza isn’t too hard. You just need some quick hands and pair of tongs and an attention span longer than a Pokemon-goer, and the dough will come out fabulous every time.
As noted in the recipe, be sure to have all of the toppings nearby so that you can quickly throw them on top after flipping the crust. This will enable the zucchini to get a nice wilt from the heat of the grill.
Serve with a side of tomatoes and basil drizzled with a little olive oil, balsamic and pinch of salt, and voila. Summer meals don’t get much better than that.
Pizza Crust & Pesto recipe via Nourishing Matters
- For the Whole Wheat Cornmeal Pizza Dough:
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp.)
- 1 1/3 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (sprouted or regular), plus more for sprinkling
- 1-1 1/2 cups spelt flour (sprouted or regular)
- 1 cup fine ground cornmeal
- 1 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more greasing bowl
- To Assemble Pizza:
- 2 Whole Wheat Cornmeal pizza crusts using the recipe below
- 2 lg. ears of fresh corn, steamed and sliced from cob
- 1 med. zucchini, thinly grated
- 1 batch of Cilantro Pepita Jalapeno Pesto (see here)
- 1/2 cup goat's feta
- 1 lg. or 2 med. onions, sauteed with a pinch of salt, until caramelized
- Tomatoes and basil, to serve on the side
- For the Pizza Dough:
- Place yeast in water for 5 minutes. Allow bubbles to form and mixture to become a little foamy on top.
- Meanwhile, mix whole wheat flour, 1 cup spelt flour and 1 cup cornmeal together in a bowl. Add yeast mixture to food processor fitted with dough blade, then add all but 1 cup of the flour mixture. Process using dough setting for 1 minute.
- Add oil and process for another minute. Slowly sprinkle in 1 cup reserved flour mixture and salt while machine is running and process for 2-3 minutes more. Dough will pull away from sides slightly and become soft and elastic, but if not, sprinkle in extra 1/2 cup spelt flour a little at a time until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the processor.
- Wet hands lightly, and remove dough from the food processor; form into a ball and place into well-oiled bowl, turning over to coat all surfaces. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm place for about 1 hour, or alternatively, allow to rise in fridge for 8-12 hours.
- Divide dough into half and roll into two pizza crusts.
- To Assemble Pizza:
- Place each rolled out pizza dough onto lightly greased parchment paper. Turn the grill on to medium heat 10-15 minutes before ready to go.
- Have all of the ingredients together next to the grill along with a pair of tongs and a spatula. Once grill is hot, slide one pizza crust off of the parchment paper and onto the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes, with the grill lid down, until bubble begin to form on the crust.
- Use tongs and spatula to help you flip the pizza. Then quickly and generously spread with pesto. Add a layer of zucchini, corn and sauteed onions. Sprinkle feta on top, and close the grill lid again for another 2-3 minutes. Check to make sure dough is done and then immediately remove from grill onto a plate.
- Repeat with remaining pizza crust and toppings. Serve alongside chopped tomatoes and basil, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic.