No need for a magic eight ball here. Summer is my biggest threat. It’s the gathering of friends, family, food and drink season-and frequently! It’s after 8 dinners accompanied by another “night-cap”, the best pie in the country (Davison Orchards) and Sangrias. Not my bikini season and not my , “I just eat salads because it’s so hot, tee hee,” season either. If the beach doesn’t miss me, I know my Kitchen is happy and so are my friends and thighs.
Here are a couple of my Summertime Favs to enjoy with a good group of friends after a crazy hot summer day.
You Say Gourmet. I Say Grilled Pizza’s on the BBQ.
You’ll need a standard pizza dough recipe , this is one that I use often…please don’t use the boxed stuff, it’s really not the same.
Basic Pizza Dough
1 tablespoon of dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups of very warm water
3 1/2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast on the warm water and stir to dissolve it. Set aside until the yeast starts forming bubbles in about 5 minutes.
Sift the flour. Pour the flour into a large bowl or on a work surface. Mold the flour in a mound shape with a hole in the center.
Pour the yeast mix in the center,then the olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Using a spatula,or wooden spoon draw the ingredients together.
Then mix with your hands to form a dough.
Sprinkle some flour on the work surface. Place the dough on the floured surface.
Knead the dough with your hands pushing and folding. Knead just long enough for the dough to take in a little more flour, and until it no longer sticks to your hands.
Spread some olive oil in the empty bowl.
Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Set aside and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to remove any bubbles that may have formed. Place on your floured work surface and cut into three equal parts.
Roll out the dough on a floured work surface with a rolling-pin and form.
Grilled Pear and Prosciutto Pizza (My absolute Favourite!)
1 basic pizza dough recipe
1 medium pear, sliced top to bottom
3 tablespoons of Pesto (you can make your own or use a good quality store-bought pesto)
Aprox. 50 grams of thinly sliced prosciutto
Mozzarella Cheese for topping
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Heat your BBQ to 400 degrees.
Using about a tablespoon of olive oil, brush each side of the sliced pears. Place on grill, Grill about 3 to 5 minutes per side or until tender, but not too tender that they are falling into bits. Remove pears and set aside.
Here is the fun part. Grilling the dough. Once the dough has been shaped, you can do one of two things. If you have a pizza tray with venting holes this will make your life a little easier.
In this case brush each side with olive oil and place the dough on your tray.
If you don’t have a tray with venting holes as I don’t, form the dough to your usual pizza tray, brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of flour.
Make sure your grill has been previously oiled. Place the tray on the grill for about 1 minute, using a metal spatula remove the dough from the tray and place directly on the grill.
Grill the dough until bubbles form on the top and the bottom looks like naan bread. Turn over and grill the other side but only for about 1 minute. Remove your pizza dough.
Venting tray method is simpler. You can keep your dough directly on your tray. Grill until you see the same results, bubbles should form on the top of your pizza. Remove when you see the bottom has become crispy.
Keeping the dough right side up, or the side that was the “least cooked” , spread the pesto covering to the edges (unless you want a doughy crust).
Place grilled pears evenly on top of the pesto.
Roughly string prosciutto over pizza. Really like prosciutto? Add more, the sweet and salty is a terrific combination!
Lightly top with mozzarella cheese.
Place back inside the BBQ on your pizza tray, cook until the cheese has melted completely.
Remove your pizza, slice and serve…. and don’t be so excited that you forget to turn off your BBQ and grab a glass of wine or a tall Sangria.