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Grilled Pizza with Pesto ~ A full-flavored pizza made with fresh basil pesto and spicy arugula. Feta cheese adds a nice creamy bite to this simple yet flavorful pizza.
Third time a charm … right? That was true for me when it came to making grilled pizza. My daughter-in-law Callie should be proud! Twice before I made homemade pizza dough and tried roasting it. The first one turned out well, but not worthy of a blog. And that was only after I forgot to grease the grill and the first crust stuck and burned. It's not pretty. I shared half of the dough with my son Patrick and DIL Callie and they roasted their pizzas with much better luck. Instead of getting bored with all the things you should not to do When making grilled pesto pizza with arugula and feta cheese, I've included "helpful" tips in the recipe notes section, based on experience, and multiple pizza experiments!
I have been enjoying more full flavored food lately. the Sriracha Fish Tacos, Sweet Corn Sauce And now this outstanding pizza. The pesto alone is amazing, but smeared on a grilled pizza it gets addictive.
This is a very green post today! If you're one of those people who can't imagine pizza without red sauce, trust a recent convert when I tell you that pizza with pesto is memorable.
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Grilled pesto pizza with arugula and feta cheese Preparation time 4 hours Cook time 5 minutes Total time 4 hours 5 minutes
A full-flavored pizza made with fresh basil pesto and spicy arugula. The dough is best prepared 1 or 2 days in advance. It freezes well and is also a great traditional baked crust.
Course: Pizza Servings: 4 pizzas Ingredients For the sponge:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water, about 80 degrees
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
For the pizza dough:
- The sponge
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon little table salt
- 4 balls of pizza dough
- 2 cups of arugula
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup of prepared pesto (see link in NOTES)
Instructions to make the sponge:
Add the yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water, stirring, to dissolve the yeast. Allow the yeast to sit for 5 minutes or until creamy. Add the olive oil and then gradually add the flour with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover and let the sponge rest, and rise in a warm place (about 85 degrees) for 1 1/2 hours. I use my microwave as a test oven. It is very hot inside when I keep the task light on underneath. Make sure your dough is free from drafts. The sponge should double in volume and become very bubbly.
To make the dough:
- Use a rubber spatula to deflate the sponge and place the mixer with the dough hook. Add 2 cups of flour and salt to the sponge and mix over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and add a tablespoon of flour, one at a time, if necessary to help bond the dough. You should be cleaning the sides of the mixer bowl. Continue kneading in medium for another 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl and rotate it to make sure all sides are moistened with oil. Cover the container with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for another 1 1/2 hours. The dough should double in volume and hold an impression when you gently push it with one finger.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into four pieces and cover the reserved pieces for later work. Roll the dough into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Roll the dough into an 8-9 inch circle with a rolling pin. If the dough recedes and does not retain its shape, let it rest for a few minutes and try again. Transfer the dough to the pizza peel or to a rimless baking sheet.
To make the pizzas:
- Preheat your grill as hot as possible. Working quickly, grease the grill rack and then slide the pizza dough onto the grill. Cook for a minute or two until cooked at the bottom and the top begins to bubble. Quickly flip the pizza dough and continue to grill until done, 2-4 more minutes.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. Top each with pesto, arugula, and feta cheese. Serve immediately.
- If you want to prepare the dough in advance, wrap each piece of dough fully raised in plastic wrap, then place it in a Ziplock bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- You can also wrap the dough well and freeze until you need it. To thaw frozen dough, place it still wrapped in the refrigerator overnight. The frozen and refrigerated dough should be allowed to reach room temperature before molding, about 2 hours.
- Generously grease the grill grate with vegetable oil. Pour the oil into a small cup or bowl. Fold a paper towel to fit in the bowl. Use the oil-soaked paper towel and tongs to grease the grid. Grease again between the crusts.
- Use a rimless baking sheet or pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal to transfer the pizza dough to the grill.
- Have a oven mitt and tongs ready when roasting the pizza dough
Click HERE to get the recipe from our easy BASIL PESTO
Adapted from a recipe by: Steve Sullivan, published in Baking with Julia
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Don't let the long instructions scare you. Pizza dough is very simple to make, it only takes time for the yeast to do its thing. The pizza crust is wonderful and worked better than the other crust I tried to grill. Basil came from our garden and I hope it continues to be produced. It has been very hot, so it may not last much longer. No matter how much we water, the scorching sun comes at a price. I would love to freeze the pesto sauce to use this winter.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Thank you very much for spending and happy Monday!