Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday Dinner - Grilled Lemony Zucchini and Eggplant Goat Cheese Pizza
This recipe has been on my mind for about a month now. I knew I wanted to make it one sunny evening this summer and enjoy it with a glass of Pinot Grigio. Last night was a nice, warm evening so we decided to make it. But, and this was the rub, how could we use the grill? I've recently read about grilled pizzas (here and here) and I really wanted to try my hand at them. I figured I'd just take the recipe from Smitten Kitchen and grill it instead of bake it. Awesome.
Pizza dough is one of those things that is super easy to make - that is if you make it an hour or two ahead. I usually don't plan my meals that far in advance, nor do I typically have the time to prep things an hour or two ahead of time. So last night, we figured we'd buy the dough pre-made from Zupan's. Well, they were out of their dough. So, then I found a recipe which I thought said you only have to let the dough rise for 20 minutes. Perfect! I went home tossed the dough together and re-read the recipe only to realize it said 1-2 hours. Oops. So my next move was to start calling all the pizza joints on Hawthorne to find out if they sell their dough. Apizza Scholls? Not frequently. They run out of dough all the time, and on a Friday night? Not gonna happen. Rovente's said they don't sell their dough, but Hot Lips said they do! And it was a good buy - 2 lbs. for $3 or 1 lb. for $2. I scooted down there and picked up a pound. It was a good call - it saved me time and it tasted really good.
The thing about grilling pizza (and please don't let this deter you) is that all of your toppings need to be cooked first. It'll only be on the grill with the toppings for about 5 minutes, so get your toppings prepped ahead of putting the dough on the grill. Use any toppings you like, but I highly recommend our version. We just put the zucchini and eggplant on the grill for 5 minutes per side to get them ready. Easy! It was so amazing - in fact, the it was the best pizza I think I've ever had. I had to run a slice over to our foodie neighbor, Jeff, to get his opinion. He agreed it was a success.
If you try this recipe, be sure to let me know how it goes!
Grilled Lemony Zucchini and Eggplant Goat Cheese Pizza (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen):
Your favorite pizza dough, homemade or picked up from your local Pizzeria (we used Hot Lips)
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
Few leaves of fresh basil, cut into thin slivers
1/2 medium yellow zucchini, sliced into thin coins
1/2 medium green zucchini, sliced as the same as above
1/2 medium eggplant, sliced the same as above
Prosciutto, cut into thin slivers*
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
*We added the prosciutto to the recipe and I wouldn't make it without it. It added a protein into the mix as well as a nice salty crunch to the pie that I felt was necessary.
Preheat your grill to medium. Roll your pizza dough into a thin 12-inch circle and lay it on a tray or stone that has been dusted lightly with cornmeal. Brush one side of the dough thoroughly with olive oil.
In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese with the juice of half your lemon. Season it with salt and freshly ground pepper, set aside.
Drizzle zucchini and eggplant slices with olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper. Grill the zucchini and eggplant on medium heat for about 5 minutes per side. This will vary depending on the thickness of your slices, so keep an eye on them as they can from 0 to burnt in no time flat. Remove from heat and cover with tin foil until you're dough is ready to be topped.
Using a pizza stone or whatever you have available, slide your raw dough onto the grill. Turn it (don't flip it!) once after about two minutes, clockwise 180 degrees to ensure even heat distribution. We didn't do this so you can see how we ended up with a burnt corner. Grill for another two and a half minutes or until the bottom is nicely browned and crisp. Brush the up side with olive oil and using spatulas, flip it over. Spread the goat cheese mixture over the browned side and add your grilled zucchini and eggplant. Grill for about 5 more minutes or until dough is golden brown and crisp. Remove from grill.
Scatter fresh basil and prosciutto slivers over the cheese. Slice and enjoy!!!
And then I took a lot more bites...