I get that summer is all about grilling hotdogs, hamburgers, steaks, and chops, but grilling takes on a whole new twist when you grill your pizza crust!

In one single swoop you can please anyone!  Meat and non-meat eaters alike. A pizza can be an app or a meal. Just use your imagination!! Your guests can even make their own with a choice of toppings. Grilling a bunch of veggies ahead that you cube or slice make great toppings. An assortment of sliced meats (even sliced hot dogs would work for the kids) along with various cheeses and olives are other toppings that work well.  If you are using sausage or an uncooked meat, be sure that you cook it FIRST Even though it will be heated, the meat will NOT get cooked thoroughly on top of a pizza crust.

Look at Wolfgang Puck who made his pizzas famous by topping them with smoked salmon and cream cheese or crème fraiche. You can even make a dessert pizza by topping the grilled crust with chocolate sauce, fruits and whipped cream. A word of caution, though. DO NOT over fill the pizza with toppings or the fillings will weigh down the pizza and it won’t make it off the grill and onto your plate.

The great thing about pizza crusts is that you can make the crusts ahead of time, and then when you are ready to eat, just top them and heat them on the grill for just a few minutes. Be sure to oil the grill racks well or the pizza dough will stick. Use a low flame and have some patience and the crusts will have that yummy, smoky, wood fired taste.

I am not big on canning, but what I like to do in the summer is make a bunch of grilled individual pizza crusts. I wrap them and freeze them to use anytime I want a smoky pizza throughout the year. I just thaw them, put toppings on and put them in the oven until the toppings are nice and hot. Even when the snow is too high to get to the grill I can still have a grilled pizza.

Home made pizza dough or store bought- it doesn’t matter! These are after all the lazy days of summer…

Chef Gail