I think many of you would agree that summer is a time for grilling. As much as possible. Because it brings my favorite thing (food) to meet my other favorite thing (sunshine/summer heat/summer outdoors).
Plus, why heat up your stuffy kitchen by turning on the oven, when you can cook your food outside. And have a picturesque setting. And soak up being outdoors. And hopefully not having too many bugs crawlin/buzzin around your food. Its only June- the creepy crawlers shouldn’t be too bad yet, right?
I am so very lucky that my apartment building not only has a cute lil courtyard with a cute lil fountain in it, but there are also two grills in the courtyard. Last time I ate in the courtyard with some friends, we did not employ the grill to prepare our meals. (Silly, I know.) But while eating at one of the picnic benches in the courtyard, a man came out with a plate of meat to grill. Unfortunately, he spent about 15 minutes fidgeting with the grill switches and the gas line. It seemed the grill was not working as smoothly as he might have hoped. We felt guilty chatting giddily, as he was clearly growing frustrated with the situation. As much as we wanted to help him, we simply had no advice or tips to offer. So, we watched until someone else came over to try to help him.
Ooops. We are not great courtyard citizens.
Then, we left before they made any progress, so who knows if he ever got his dinner cooked. Perhaps his family ordered an emergency round of Chinese takeout that night.
In any event, this episode left me intimidated by the courtyard grills. And when Katherine found out that I was looking for a grilling buddy, she gladly jumped on board!
As for what to grill, we did not have much difficulty deciding. You may recall that Katherine and I have an affinity for pizza. Specifically, salad pizza. Clearly it was time to take our pizza obsession outside to the grill- and summer-ify it.
Grilling pizza is one of those things I always talk about doing in the summer, but I rarely actually follow through. I had only tried doing it once. In Australia. On a grill that was really a large outdoor griddle. It was a flat surfaces, with no grates. And let’s be honest, half the reason we grill is to get those rustic looking grate lines on our food.
I used store-bought crust. I know, I’m a cheater. I just have so very little patience for yeast. One of these days, I plan to whip up a big batch of pizza crusts by hand- to stick in the freezer for gradual use.
One of these days…
And next on my list of yeast activities is cinnamon rolls. I’ll be sure to invite you over that day to help with the consuming.
For now, grilled pizza. Which was so delicious in my tummy I can’t even describe it.
It also required transporting quite a bit of supplies outside, near the grill.
I accidentally threw the microplane (for grating parm) in the bag of food. Katherine nearly shredded her fingers when she reached in for the food. Oops. (That is why microplanes come with a cover, Meg.)
Katherine was a doll, being very conscious about avoiding cross-contamination with her gluten crust.
1 pizza crust (I used Udi’s)
2-4 Tbsp. pizza sauce (we used Super Simple Tomato Sauce)
several slices of fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 small cucumber, freshly sliced
large handful of greens, like arugula
1 Tbsp. simple salad dressing (just olive oil and lemon juice will do)
Heat up the grill on high heat. Keep the grill closed while its warming up.
Rub down both sides of your crust with a light layer of olive oil. Place the crust face down on the grill for about five minutes, to cook the top.
After about 5 minutes or until it is nicely toasted, turn it over and top with the sauce, tomatoes, and mozzarella. Let it cook for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your crust.
Then, top it with the greens, cucumber, dressing, and parmesan. As all good salad pizza enthusiasts do.
And one more, just to really get you salivating…
Get grilling, y’all! Even if its not pizza. Which it should be. At least some of the time. If not every time you grill.
I’ve made my point.
(Some of the photo credit goes to Katherine, who graciously snapped photos while my hands were tied up at the grill.)