Best (Homemade) Pizza Ever
Thanks for all your help (and sympathy) about my terrible run and what might be to blame for it. It’s hard to tell whether it was dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, low blood sugar, or this idea about the brain getting overstressed and shutting down its signals to the muscles. Luckily, I don’t really need to pinpoint the exact cause—all of these things are easy to fix. Hopefully you won’t be reading another post like that anytime soon!
Homemade Grilled Pizza
I’ve been loving the raw vegan meals recently, but you gotta treat yourself once in a while, right? We got the new Fine Cooking in the mail last week, always good for a tug-of-war as Erin and I both clamor to read it. The big feature this month is about homemade tomato sauce, and as a suggested use, they provide this grilled pizza recipe.
As much as I love a classic margherita pie, this one’s not traditional at all. It’s covered with portobellos, onions, and most noticably, tomatoes and arugula. It’s the kind of pizza you’d eat outside with a fork and knife at a trendy bistro in the city. Of course, we slummed it and skipped the fork and knife. But man was this good pizza!
Erin and I teamed up to make this one; it’s kind of a lot to do by yourself. And we deviated from the recipe a bit. First, we didn’t make homemade tomato sauce. I’m sure this would have been best, but our garden has still not produced any red tomatoes, and using your own tomatoes is half the fun! So I bought Nature’s Promise organic sauce and just used that instead. Also, we used a few green heirloom tomatoes (our garden has plenty of these) for the topping; the recipe calls for yellow, purple, or orange ones. They must be smoking something over at Fine Cooking, because the only tomatoes I ever see are red or green. And we pre-grilled the green tomatoes, since they were a little firm.
We did make fresh dough, but you know me; I wasn’t about to use all white flour. So of the four cups of flour called for, I used one cup of whole wheat flour, one cup rye flour, and two cups white bread flour. And this crust turned out really nicely. Surprising for two reasons—the recipe calls for rapid-rise yeast, which most say doesn’t allow the yeast enough time to develop nice flavor, and it’s the type of pizza where both sides get grilled, not something I’ve had good results with in the past. But I had faith—Fine Cooking recipes, almost without exception, work out—and the crust got nice and crispy on the bottom, with the perfect amount of chewiness in the middle.
Two things really made this pizza for me. The first was the cheese, which was Fontina. As an aside, when I glanced at the recipe before shopping for ingredients, I saw that it said to roll the dough into a 10-inch round. This sounds sort of small, so I figured we should make a double recipe so that we’d have leftovers. What I didn’t realize was that the recipe makes four of these pizzas! We had leftovers, alright. The point of this story, though, is that the second time, I used mozzarella cheese, and it just wasn’t the same. So don’t do it; get Fontina. The other thing I loved was the drizzling of olive oil and balsamic vinegar at the end. It just provided that extra touch that put this pizza in the “gourmet” category rather than the “homemade Papa John’s” category.
I could go on for a while about this pie, but this post is getting much longer than I like, so I’ll just leave at that. And this. Five cows out of five! It was perfect! Do yourself a favor and try this recipe (and do it soon, because Fine Cooking tends to take away online access to the new recipes pretty quickly for non-members). And if you’ve never made dough at home because it seems like a hassle, this is the time to try it. Rapid-rise yeast means only about two hours of rising time. Come on, do it, all the cool kids are!
I am copying this recipe down right now. I just went to a new market today that has the freshest produce and a huge variety of cheeses and I immediately thought pizza. I will probably make this on Saturday after my husband comes home, it sounds like a perfect pre-20 mile run meal. Thanks for the recipe.
I’m so sorry to hear about your run 🙁 There’s nothing more discouraging, especially when you’re not expecting it at all!!
Luckily all it takes is one good one under your belt and you’re back 🙂
In the meantime – nothing cures the blues like a DELICIOUS homemade grilled pizza!! That looks SO yummy!
That looks absolutely delicious! Wow! I will gaze upon it once more and then avert my eyes forever… No cheese of flour in my future!
Yay for homemade pizza! I agree, treating yourself to a meal outside your normal diet is fun sometimes. It always helps when I have variety in my meals – texture, taste, and temperature!
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Awesome! Weekends are spent best if you can make homemade pizza…OOo, I’m sure gonna try this soon. looks soo yum.
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I think its so fabulous that you BOTH love to cook. This pizza looks incredible. Especially with all of that arugula on top. Fantastic. Enjoy your night
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Good tip to go from Papa Johns to Gourmet haha. And also the fontina cheese; I would’ve never thought of it!
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just a thought for you…i’m currently growing Cherokee PURPLE tomatoes in my garden. here’s a great list of MANY varieties, including the wacky colors you wouldn’t expect…just give yourself some time to go through the list, because it’s MASSIVE. anyway, believe it or not, they predate the red colored tomatoes we’re used to seeing in grocery stores! same thing goes for purple and white varieties of carrots, as well as many other varieties of veggies and fruit. 🙂
I love the idea to drizzle some balsamic vinegar. I use it often in salads so why not on pizza!
this pizza looks and sounds delicious! i just recently (few months ago) ventured into the world of homemade pizza – so much better than delivery!! gonna have to give this one a whirl 🙂
hope you’ve been feeling better on your runs. could’ve just been an off day – unfortunately some are like that 🙁
That sounds divine indeed! Fontina and balsamic vinegar – just yum!
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YUM. that’s all i have to say about that.
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As Laura pointed, heirloom tomatoes come in a variety of colors, the Cherokee Purple is a nice flavored one, yellow-red German Stripers have a nice sweet flavor, the Tangerine tomatoes on my counter look nice but I don’t detect a distinct flavor for them … I could go on, but I would suggest hitting a good farmer’s market to really see and taste the variety out there … s/b an explosion of tomatoes starting this weekend. Never been, but the mushroom lady at my Arlington farmer’s market says that on Sunday morning under the Jones Fall Xway in B-more there is a great farmer’s market. BTW, she has some really cool shrooms you can experiment with — the snowball ones tastes like crab.
On to pizza dough, for years I’ve been grilling and baking pizzas w/good results by using the reserve of your recipe for the dough. That is, about ~75% to 25% whole wheat to white ratio. You can up the WW amount if you use some wheat gluten — a vital part of rising dough. And very coincidentally, I had a very odd dream this morning about me explaining to a pro-chef in my kitchen that I was out of white flour but had the wheat gluten … he wasn’t buying that it made a good crust. Hmmm, haven’t grilled pizzas this summer yet, I guess it’s time.
And oh yeah, go to food co-op, natural food store etc., and get a bag of some good baking yeast — I don’t like using the little packets.
we had this pizza last night…LOVED IT!
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