Dear Grilled Pizza,
Oh! How I love you so! You’re the perfect combination of char marks and melty cheese oozing between slices of vegetable and sometimes meat. I love to share my leftovers with you, especially if it’s barbeque. Chicken, zucchini, onions, ground meat (even salami!), they do compliment you so. You pair just as well with or without beef or pork, however those sweet dessert pizzas are but a mockery of your loveliness. Those crazy Westerners should keep their sweets to cobblers and tarts instead. Mild peppers are like the cherry on top. You are perfectly paired with the smokiness of the grill; the fast cooking technique. Most people wouldn’t care for your need of constant attention, but you’re one of the deserving few that actually require it to be the best you can be. I love to attend to you with mozzarella and feta, sometimes queso blanco. Fresh herbs as a garnish. Green tomatoes or sun-dried. And always lots of garlic with some sweet olive oil. I’d even give you a bouquet of broccoli or mushrooms if you so desired.
Our rendezvous every Friday evening only leaves me wanting more of your many flavors. So many people take advantage of one side of you; they waste your beauty with pepperoni and sausage. They adorn you with too many flavors to truly taste who you are (because deep inside we all know it’s the crust that matters). We Americans love you and leave you, to use up your convenience, to eat you with cheap swill. I for one can no longer do that to you – I see your importance. You bring our families together, you bind our leftovers into a harmonious flavor, you are eloquent and yet strong, simple or artisanal (and you pair well with wine or beer, and even sweet southern tea). You are seasonal and somehow you’ll always ring true of your homeland if we treat you gently. With all of these words and love from the deepest acre of my fickle heart, will you be mine this eve?
With many tasty wishes in mind, Jennifer
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp (or more) crushed red pepper
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 pint crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste (or one small can)
Lightly sauté garlic, basil, oregano and crushed red pepper in olive oil. Add tomato sauce and paste and simmer for about 20 minutes over medium low heat. For a smoother tomato sauce you can use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the chunks of tomatoes.
Alteration: to create a barbeque pizza sauce add 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. Adjust for sweet/tartness.
The Best Pizza Dough Ever recipe found at 101 Cookbooks. I slightly alter the recipe by using 1/3 whole wheat flour. I also add a cup of sourdough starter and combine dough making with my weekly sourdough feeding. Finally, I’ll sometimes substitute some whey for water and/or add some wheat germ or garlic.