Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Grilled Pizza with Harissa, Mushrooms, Roasted Pine Nuts, and Fresh Herbs

So let me tell you something - if you have a grill and you haven't tried a grilled pizza, you are seriously missing out. It will change your life! Okay, maybe it won't change your life, but it will vastly improve your meal. Plus, it's so easy that it'll make you wonder why you never did it before.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here the past few days, so I've been trying to take advantage of the lovely longer warm evenings. We drug our patio furniture outside on Sunday and last night, with an evening in the 70's, I knew we were eating outside.

We've been talking about grilling a pizza for the longest time, so I started tossing some ideas around in my head on my way home from work. I saw a recipe somewhere that topped a pizza with a salad and I was intrigued by the idea. I also knew I wanted to keep it fairly light, so we decided to keep it vegan and forgo the cheese. But we couldn't skimp on flavor, so instead of the normal pizza sauce, I concocted a Harissa-like sauce, that is full of spicy Indian flavors. I added some roasted pine nuts, to give it some texture. And then as the final kick of flavor, we liberally doused the entire pizza with a combination of roughly chopped cilantro, flat Italian parsley, and dill. Holy tastebud explosion! This just might be one of the tastiest pizzas I've ever had. The flavors meld together in the most delicious of combinations and I can't wait to make it again.

Don't be afraid to grill a pizza if you've never done it before. It's very easy and only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. You can use your favorite pizza dough - or my favorite pizza dough recipe, which I've included at the bottom. You simply make the dough, stretch it out into whatever shape you want (as long as it'll fit on your grill), liberally apply olive oil to one side, and then put the oiled side down onto the grill. Cook for 5 minutes and then remove from the grill. You put sauce and toppings down on the grilled side, and then put it back on the grill for another 3-5 minutes until crispy on the bottom. Could it get any easier??

Grilled pizza with Harissa, Mushrooms, Roasted Pine Nuts, and Fresh Herbs

1 batch of your favorite pizza dough (or mine, which is below)

Harissa Sauce
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1-2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander

1 (8oz) container sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms
1/2 red onion, thinly slivered
1/3 cup pine nuts, roasted until nice and golden brown
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh flat Italian parsley
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh dill

Prepare pizza dough and allow to rise for 30 minutes. While dough is rising, saute mushrooms in a touch of olive oil until tender. Combine all ingredients for Harissa sauce in a bowl and stir well. Combine parsley, cilantro, and dill in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Roll/stretch out pizza dough to 1/2" thickness. Liberally apply olive oil to top side of dough. Place dough oil-side down onto hot grill. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, until dough is crispy and golden brown on the bottom. Remove from grill and put grilled side of dough up. Apply sauce over pizza crust, leaving a slight border around the edge. Spread mushrooms, onions, and pine nuts on crust and place back on the grill. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until bottom of dough is crispy and golden brown. Remove from heat and spread herb mixture all over pizza. Cut into pieces and serve immediately.

My favorite pizza dough:
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 pkt active yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on surface of water and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of wheat flour and begin to mix dough with dough hook. Add remaining ingredients and continue to combine. Knead with dough hook for 5-7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Punch down dough and proceed with normal recipe.

*As a note, when I am making a traditional pizza, I often add about 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp crushed fennel seed, and 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes to the dough when mixing.


Patrick said...

This pizza is as delicious as it looks!

Unknown said...

Glad to see you back! I'm looking forward to trying this when it warms up in Canada.

Fiber said...

You'll have to let me know how it turns out and if you love it as much as I do!