We’re back! Our schedule this year with Ted commuting to Columbia and me working to keep us afloat left us feeling a bit less inspired in the kitchen; we were more focused on “let’s shop for what’s cheap and quick to make” than on having fun in the kitchen. Now that school has ended, and SUMMER VEGGIES ARE BACK!!, I’m reinvigorated and excited to cook.
Since we are home for the summer for the first time ever, we joined a local CSA through Stoneledge Farm. We are three weeks in, and as expected, we have been inundated by greens! Now, I’m all for enjoying a giant salad here and there, but it was clear that if we were going to get through this overload, we were going to have to get creative, stat. To me, that’s one of the greatest points of a CSA: not having a choice in the produce each week, and being forced to think on my feet and try out some new things!
One of the greens in our first delivery was escarole. I have made soups and stews with escarole before, usually also involving white beans and sausage, but with the weather finally improving, we were itching to do some outdoor cooking instead of hover over a hot pot all afternoon. So, we thought, why not put it on a pizza? Better yet, why not grill that pizza?
Let’s backtrack for a minute to the inspiration for the grilled pizza. Over Memorial Day Weekend, we helped a friend to prepare endless amounts of spring veggie-filled delicacies including the two pizzas below.
That weekend was certainly one of experimentation when it came to making the grilled pizzas. We determined that putting a pizza stone on the grill to heat up before cooking the pizza, as recommended by a few sources, actually made the surface far too hot to allow the top of the crust to cook before the bottom burnt. We also determined that the best process for even cooking was to start the dough for a minute on the heat, flip it for a bit to crisp the top a bit, then flip it back over and add the toppings while the dough was on the heat.
So, with that experience, we endeavored to make our own. Unfortunately, it was rainy and we don’t have great tools for flipping pizza on the grill. That said, with some creative intervention (putting the grilled pizza under the broiler for a few minutes to make sure the top was fully cooked), the finished product was delicious!
A note about dough: When Matt made his pizzas, he used Michael Ruhlman’s Bread App; I would highly recommend making your own dough instead of buying it pre-made as we did for our pizza. The Trader Joe’s dough didn’t crisp and bubble up as much as the homemade version, and was too springy.
Escarole, White Bean, and Andouille Grilled Pizza
Time: 20 minutes
- 1 head escarole, washed and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- red pepper flakes
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound pizza dough
- 1 small can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 link andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
- 1 cup (or more) ricotta cheese, thinned with some milk and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper
- grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook escarole: saute garlic in 2 tbsp EVOO over medium heat for two minutes. Add escarole to pan with a few shakes of red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Using tongs, toss escarole so it is evenly coated in oil. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan, and cover the pan for 3-5 minutes. Remove cover, and continue to saute until water is evaporated and escarole is very wilted.
2. Make crusts: Form dough into one or two balls, then flatten to 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick (the thinner the better). Brush the dough with oil and season with kosher salt.
3. Cook pizza: Prepare grill to medium heat. Place dough on heat for about a minute, until bubbles begin to form on the top. Flip dough briefly to crisp top a bit. Flip the dough once again. Work quickly to top the pizza with ricotta, escarole, andouille, beans, and parmesan (remove from heat to do this if necessary). Close the lid and grill for about 2 more minutes, until cheeses melt, toppings warm through, and bottom of crust is browned but not burnt.