Makes 2 pizzas or enough to serve 4
Some grill aficionados start grilling as soon as the weather is warm for a few days in a row (some, of course, never stop all winter). Grilled pizza takes practice, so it’s never too early to start. The trick is to set up two heat zones: Bank the coals to one side if using charcoal, or set gas grill burners at high on one side and low on the other. This recipe is an easy proposition if you purchase commercial dough. Tapenade is an olive paste from the south of France, available in many specialty markets; it takes about 10 minutes to make your own.
½pound pitted green olives, (about 1½ cups), drained4anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry3tablespoons drained capers 1teaspoon chopped fresh thyme Grated rind of ½ lemonBlack pepper, to taste¼cup olive oil1pound pizza dough, divided into 2 ballsExtra olive oil (for crushing)1cup grated fresh Parmesan ⅓cup chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, or oregano)Flour (for rolling)Cornmeal (for brushing)
1. In a food processor, combine the olives, anchovies, capers, thyme, lemon rind, pepper, and olive oil. Work the mixture until it forms a coarse puree; transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill and arrange the burners or coals so that there is a high and a low heat zone. Have on hand a tray with the extra olive oil, tapenade, Parmesan, herbs, a pastry brush, 2 spatulas, cornmeal, 2 baking sheets (or 1 sheet and 1 pizza peel).
3. On a lightly floured counter, roll or stretch the dough into 2 rectangles about 7 by 14 inches. Dust the tops with cornmeal. On a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal, stack the rectangles, separating them with a piece of parchment paper.
4. Dust a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet with cornmeal. Set 1 rectangle of dough on the peel and slide it onto the hot side of the grill (no need to oil the grates). Grill for 1 minute, or until the bottom is set. Use 2 spatulas to maneuver the dough over the heat so that it cooks evenly. If it begins to burn, move it to the cooler side of the grill. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottom of the dough browns. Turn and cook the dough on the hot side for 1 to 2 minutes, until the dough is firm but not completely browned. Slide it off the grill onto the peel. Repeat with the other rectangle.
5. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil, spread with tapenade, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return the pizza to the cool side of the grill. Cover and cook for 1 minute, or just until the cheese melts. Remove from the grill and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Sally Pasley Vargas