Monday, August 2, 2010

Great Grilling Madness

There is a common misconception that summer grilling season is reserved for those who love meat. Yes, while others at the family cookout enjoy the meaty goodness of peppered steaks, bun-length hot dogs, and grill-marked kielbasa, the lonely vegetarian must lay low by the table with chips and dip, perhaps picking at a mayonnaise-soaked cole slaw. Oh the sorrow...

Forget it! Those days are long gone, and most any vegetarian (or die-hard foodie) will bust that myth in an instant with a plate of their favorite grilled creation. Mine? Undoubtedly grilled personal pizzas. I promise that this summer favorite will please both your meat-eating and vege-head friends. Adam and I made these this weekend, and enjoyed them on the porch for dinner. While we ate, Dora stayed occupied by digging hole in our new pile of dirt from the "yard renovation."
Fire up the grill and get cooking...

Grilled Pesto Personal Pizzas
Although I'm typically quite a stickler about following/providing amounts for a recipe, this is one of the few recipes where I don't! Unfortunately, I don't follow any amounts for the vegetables, seasonings, and pesto, but rather I season as I go and make it to taste. If you're an "exact amount" person, take a deep breath and just trust your inner Foodie on this one :)


  • 1 ball of pizza dough, divided into 6 individual balls (I always use this recipe for my pizza dough)
  • Chopped veggies of choice (we used cauliflower, green peppers, onions, brussel sprouts, and tomatos)
  • Olive oil
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Italian dressing (optional)
  • Sauce of choice (Try pesto!)
  • Marinara for dipping

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Shredded parmesan or asiago cheese
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • 2-3 cloves of chopped fresh garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1) To prepare the chopped veggies: In a large bowl, toss the veggies with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. We used Italian dressing instead of olive oil, and loved the result!

2) To prepare pesto: Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Add more olive as needed to reach desired consistency (and don't forget to toast the pine nuts--it's essential!)

3) To grill veggies: Place veggies on a grill pan coated with cooking spray. Cook until crisp-tender, and until those beautiful grill marks appear :)

4) To prepare the pizza: Roll each individual ball of dough out onto a lightly floured surface (ours came to be about 6-8 inches in diameter). Sprinkle with garlic powder and a little black pepper.

5) Individually cook each pizza on a grill pan coated with cooking spray. Cook on one side until grill marks appear and top becomes slightly puffed (approximately 2- 4 minutes). Flip, and cook approximately 2 more minutes.

6) Top your pizza with pesto, veggies, and dip in marinara.

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