Pizza may have originated in Italy but by now it's also an American classic, from Chicago's deep dish pies to New York's thin-and-foldable slices. What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with a backyard grilled pizza party?
Grilling pizza is incredibly easy, and yields outstanding results. The crust becomes crisp, bubbly, and charred; the vegetables caramelize; and the cheese melts and retains a bit of smoky flavor. While making your own dough is certainly an option, store-bought fresh or frozen dough works just fine, and when it comes to toppings the only limit is your imagination.
Today's Cook the Book recipe, excerpted from Grill Every Day by Diane Morgan, is for Grilled Sweet Onion, Thyme, and White Farmhouse Cheddar Pizza. Pair it with a tomato salad and blueberry pie to round out the holiday colors!
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- 1 16- to 18-ounce package fresh or frozen pizza dough
- 1 large walla walla or other sweet onion, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces white farmhouse cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
If using fresh dough, remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you roll it out. If using frozen dough, transfer it to the refrigerator a day before you plan to make pizza, so it can thaw slowly, and then let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before you roll it out.
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on high. If the grill has a built-in thermometer, it should register between 500°F and 600°F. Have ready a 14-inch, non-perforated pizza pan, preferably an inexpensive aluminum one.
While the grill is heating, arrange the onion slices in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet and brush the slices on both sides with olive oil. Set aside.
Oil the grill grate. Place the onions directly over the hot fire and grill, turning once, until grill marks appear on both sides and the onions are crisp-tender when pierced with a knife, about 4 minutes per side. (Use a combination of tongs and a long-handled spatula to turn the onion slices so they stay intact.) Set aside.
To top the pizza: Brush olive oil over the crust, leaving a 1-inch boarder. Separate the onion slices into rings and arrange evenly over the pizza dough. Scatter the thyme over the top and season with a few grinds of pepper. Evenly distribute the cheese over the onions.
Using a pizza peel or thick oven mitts, remove the pizza from the grill. Slice the pizza into wedges and serve immediately.