Tag Archives: grilled pizza

When I Grow Up: Grilled Pear & Bacon Pizza with Balsamic Reduction

  1. Dolphin Trainer
  2. Jazz Singer
  3. MAC Make-up Counter Woman that sprays you with perfume
  4. Famous food blogger

So went the list of jobs we would have if money was no object, talents endless, and our lives different. We were five women in a minivan (so hot), headed away from the reality of our lives and towards Walla Walla, WA for a weekend of food, wine, and general gluttony (with a little karaoke and dancing thrown in for good measure).

Becky, Erina, Andrea, and Anna-Lea at Saviah Cellars (so good!) The Lovely Ila must be taking the pic.

TruCellars

 You can just imagine how many stops five women require (there’s coffee, snacks, and the comically unending stream of “10 minute warning until I need the loo!” shout-outs). Fortunately, one of those stops included Wine O’Clock in Prosser, WA. Once we got ourselves off the highway and began the highly sophisticated process of “follow the dot, follow the dot…nope, we’re going away from the dot…turn around” iPhone navigating, we finally found it. It is a darling spot and an excellent way to break up the drive. The wines are sold at retail prices, so they are very affordable and the menu itself boasts a great selection.

Perhaps the best item on the menu is their sweet and savory pizza, a pear, bacon, and cheese concoction that absolutely delights.

Having returned home and (not-so) stealthily snuck all my wine into the house so Matt wouldn’t see it, I set about re-creating this. The combination of the sweet pear, with the salty bacon, and pungent sheepsmilk is an absolute hit.  Throw that on top of a store-bought dough and you’ll seem pulled together and glamorous enough to maybe be one step closer to your dream job…whatever it may be.

Grilled Pear & Bacon Pizza with Balsamic Reduction

Grilled Pear & Bacon Pizza

1 store bought pizza dough, thawed and allowed to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes

8 pieces bacon

1 medium Walla Walla Sweet Onion, sliced into thin rings

3/4 TB Brown Sugar

1/3 lb cheese (you can do different options here. A gorgonzola would be good, although I opted for something a bit subtler and did a raw cowsmilk cheese from Switzerland that has some bite, but isn’t overpoweringly stinky)

2 pears, ripe but firm

4 TB Olive Oil

Balsamic Reduction Sauce

  1. Cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan and set on paper towels to absorb grease. Coarsely chop. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, on very low heat in a small frying pan, cook the onions and brown sugar in 1 TB of olive oil until soft and carmelized. About 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Shred the cheese and thinly slice the pear. Set aside.
  4. Turn your grill on, and get as hot as possible.
  5. Divide the dough in half and on a floured surface roll out until about 1 cm thick.
  6. Brush one side with 1 TB olive oil, reduce flame on grill to medium, and put on grill, oil side down. Close top and cook 3-4 minutes until golden and puffing up. Remove from grill, brush 1 TB oil on un-grilled side, and put on a plate, grill marks up.

    One-Side Grilled, One-Side To Go

  7. Brush remaining 1 TB olive oil on top of pizza and top with cheese, carmelized onions, bacon, and pear. Return to grill and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  8. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Drizzle with Balsamic Reduction Sauce if you like and enjoy.
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I dream of pizza: Zucchini Pizza with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Olive Tapenade that is…

I work with a tremendously impressive group of people who I know for a fact regularly stay up thinking about how to improve the human condition. They think about how to eradicate polio, how to improve the education system in America, and how to ensure that the poor in developing countries have access to the financial services they need to get ahead. The most interesting fact about these people, is that they’re actually doing it. They actually are finding ways to get vaccines to the people who need them most, developing ways to measure teacher effectiveness, and designing mobile banking programs that are helping people put their kids through school. They actually are making a difference. Which is incredible…and very humbling.

As for me when tossing and turning late at night? I dream of pizza.

This morning, while laying awake having been woken up by both dogs who were now promptly snoring away, I couldn’t fall back asleep. At 4a I began thinking about what to make for dinner tonight. Doing a mental checklist of what was in my fridge, I came up with the perfect idea. Grilled pizza with an olive tapenade base topped with grilled zucchini, buffalo mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and homegrown basil.

This one may not save the world…but it certainly will make it more enjoyable in the meantime.

Make this when your garden is exploding with zucchini and you don’t know what to do with it. The smokiness from grilling it makes it much more complex and paired with the mozz/basil/tomato/olive combination is quite delicious.

Zucchini Pizza with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Olive Tapenade

Serves 4. Pair with a moderate red wine such as a Moltepulciano

1 pizza dough, store-bought is fine. I like Trader Joes

6 ounces red pitted olives

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil + 3 TB

1 garlic clove

Salt and Pepper

1 large zucchini (about 1 – 1.5 lbs)

1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, thinly sliced

1/2 cup packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped

Tapenade -Add the olives, garlic, and lemon juice to a food processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil in a steady stream while pureeing the mixture, and continue until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Zucchini – Thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise, with a mandolin if you have it. You want pieces to be fairly thin. Brush with remaining 3  TB of olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Grill the zucchini over high heat for about 5 minutes or until tender and slightly charred. Set aside.

Zucchini, Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil

Zucchini, Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil

Pizza Dough – On a floured surface, stretch out the pizza dough to about a 10-12 inch circle. If you like, you can divide the dough before spreading it and make two smaller pizzas which will render it easier to manage on the grill. Brush one side with the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the dough to the grill, oil side down, and cook over high heat with the lid closed until dough has set and is beginning to bubble. Note: You’ll want the grill quite hot when you add it so that it immediately starts puffing up versus falling through the grates. Once the first side is crisp and golden, add remaining sun-dried tomato oil to top side (the un-cooked side) and flip over. Cook 2-3 minutes, just until firm enough you can pull it off the grill.

Assembly – Spread the tapenade on the pizza (the side you cooked first). Layer with the grilled zucchini, mozzarella slices, and sun-dried tomatoes. Return to grill and cook another 5-7 minutes or until dough is completely set and cheese is bubbling. Allow to cool 3-5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

With toppings, before being returned to the grill

With toppings, before being returned to the grill

Voila

Voila

Note: You’ll see in these admittedly mediocre pix that I did fresh tomatoes the first time I tried this. They over-powered the smokiness of the zucchini, so I made it again with sun-dried which I think were much more successful.

The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the positions, strategies or opinions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

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