Try this take on pizza tonight for a fresh, delicious way to showcase seasonal produce and crunchy walnuts! Experiment with toppings to find a combination you and your family will enjoy.
- 1 cup water, wrist-temperature
- 1 package (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- A pinch of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra for the bowl)
- 3 cups white flour, unbleached (1/4 cup may be whole-wheat or rye)
- Extra flour for kneading
- Cornmeal for the pizza peel or cookie sheet
- 2 cups mozzarella, part skim, shredded
- Cauliflowerets, from a 1 1/2-pound cauliflower, small (1-inch), roasted
- Red peppers (home-roasted and peeled or from a jar, drained and sliced)
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup California walnuts (or more, if you like), chopped
- 8-10 basil leaves, torn, for garnish
- Place the water in a medium-large bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and sugar, and stir to dissolve. Let it stand 5 minutes, or until it begins to bubble.
- Stir in the salt, oil, and 1 cup flour. Beat for several minutes with wooden spoon.
- Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. The dough will be soft, but should not be sticky.
- Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for several minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. This will take about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough, and return it to the floured surface. (This is the point at which you can freeze the dough for future use.) Divide it in half, knead each half for a few minutes, then let the two balls of dough rest for about 10 minutes. (This allows the gluten to relax, so the dough will stretch easily into shape.)
- Light the grill, so it can heat while you finish preparing the dough.
- Patiently stretch each ball into a 12-inch circle or oval. (Doesn't need to be perfect.) Lightly brush both sides with olive oil. When the grill is hot sprinkle a pizza peel or a cookie sheet with cornmeal, and use either to transfer the dough circles, one at a time (unless you have room for two) to the grill. Cover and wait 2 minutes, then check underneath the dough with a spatula or with long tongs. It usually takes about 2 minutes to get the dough golden and nicely grill-marked on the bottom, and air-pocketing on top. When it acquires this appearance, use the peel or cookie sheet to take it off the grill, re-covering the grill to keep it from losing heat.
- Flip over the half-grilled pizza, and brush the bottom (now top), grilled surface with olive oil, then sprinkle lightly all over with mozzarella. (The cheese will serve to hold the vegetables and walnuts down.) Distribute half the onion, half the walnuts, half the cauliflower, and half the peppers over the top, and return the pizza to the grill via the peel or the cookie sheet for another 2 minutes of covered grill time – or until the second side is brown and striped on the bottom and the cheese is nicely melted on the top.
- Remove, let rest 5 minutes, garnish with torn basil leaves. Slice and serve. (Repeat with the second half of the dough and toppings.)