Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bruschetta Pizza

OK, so I like to think that my bruschetta is world famous! My dad was actually a really great cook in his day, and he always deemed everything his "world famous." So, as a tribute to him, this is a twist on my WORLD FAMOUS bruschetta. Anyway, I make my typical bruschetta in a few different ways, but this time decided to put it on top of some pizza!

I started with whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe's. I am IN LOVE with this pizza crust, it is TO DIE FOR (really, it is!). My husband, Matt, does not always like the same things as me, so as I often do, I made us each our own portion. I cut the dough in half and froze one half. I then cut the remaining dough in half again, so we each ended up with a quarter of the original ball of dough. I rolled out the dough as thinly as I could. (I tried the authentic using the knuckles and tossing method – didn’t so much work for me!). I sprayed a cookie sheet with extra virgin olive oil spray, and placed the dough down. I then drizzled a SMALL portion of olive oil on the top of the crust, and coated with a brush.

I set the dough aside, and worked on the toppings. For the bruschetta topping, here is a rough idea of what I did/used (I rarely measure, sorry!!)

*About 4 medium sized tomatoes, seeded and chopped in small pieces
*Fresh basil stemmed and chopped (I like to stack the leaves, roll like a cigar, and then chop into small pieces)
*I clove garlic, minced
*2 teaspoons fresh thyme
*½ red onion, chopped into small pieces
*Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
*About 1 cup of red wine vinegar
*Sprinkle of sea salt
*Fresh ground black pepper

I let this marinate for about 1/2 hour in a bowl in the fridge, and then using a strainer, drain as much of the liquid as I can. *This is VERY IMPORTANT as the pizza will be very watery and runny if not well drained. Once the bruscetta is drained, I add back to bowl, and prepare the rest of my ingredients…

*Handful of large black olives (canned are OK, but the yummy ones from the olive bar at the grocery store are better)
*Small chunks of fresh mozzarella
*½ cup of part-skim ricotta cheese (I like to add in a little garlic salt, fresh ground pepper, and Italian seasoning)

I place each of the ingredients in a small prep bowl and place on a large cookie sheet.

OK, back to the pizza…

Here comes the best part… I then placed the pizza RIGHT ON THE GRILL!!!! I have a pizza stone, but after hearing stories of the What’s Cookin’ ladies stones breaking, I was hesitant to do this. A while back, I had seen an episode of Paula Deen, and she placed her dough right on the grill, so why not? I gave it a whirl. Well, it was AMAZING! So crispy on the outside, but still a nice, soft bite on the inside.

Grill the dough on one side for about 5-6 minutes over medium to medium-high heat. I flipped once I saw the nice grill marks with a golden color overall. Once I flipped, I started assembling the pizza. I spread the bruscetta mixture over the individual pizzas. I added the fresh mozzarella to both pizzas, and then added the black olives and also the ricotta to mine (DARN husband doesn’t like olives or ricotta cheese).

Grill until cheese melts and bottom side of crust has nice grill marks and a crispy texture.

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