Get that wood-fired flavor from cooking outdoors, and keep your house cool in these last days of summer.
Every time I walk into a pizza place with a wood-fired oven, I think how wonderful it would be to have one at my house. I have visions of working a long paddle as I reposition the multitudes of pizzas, breads and roasts (yes, I want a spit in my wood oven, too). And being able to cook something in a matter of moments, in an oven that's a bazillion degrees, has its attractions.
The good news is that you really don't need one to make a terrific pizza that has many of the same characteristics of a wood-fired oven. All you need is a grill.
The first time I witnessed a friend tossing a round of dough on his grill I thought, "Now that's just silly. It would be so much easier just to pop the pizza in the oven and walk away." The results, though, spoke for themselves. The pizza had a beautiful, slightly smoky flavor, with a crispy, chewy crust. Oh, and my friend's kitchen wasn't made searing hot in the middle of summer because he had to fire up the oven to 500 degrees, which alone was enough to sell me on the idea.
Grilling pizza is easy and the perfect family meal to cap off a wonderful summer of grilling. And it can be done in a snap, as it isn't absolutely necessary to let the dough sit for a long period of time.
Just start it in the food processor before lighting the grill. By the time the grill is ready and the toppings assembled, the dough will be ready to roll.
One of my favorites toppings is potato and rosemary. It does include the extra step of roasting the potato slices first, but it's worth it. Red potatoes are sliced thinly and tossed with olive oil, loads of garlic and fresh rosemary, baked until tender and then placed on top of the crust, along with a scattering of mozzarella, and finished off on the grill. Meredith Deeds of Edina is the author of many cookbooks. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @meredithdeeds.