We were probably overdue for a Pizza Friday! Pretty much our favorite! We tend to get a little carried away. But, it is a great way for us to create when we have time to cook together. We brainstorm ideas for pizza and usually zero in on 3 to make. Thankfully we don’t eat them all, but we like the variety and the leftovers freeze pretty well too, so it works! Always great to have a couple slices on hand if you are in the mood for late night pizza.
The hard part is using some restraint. It is easy to just keep on piling on different ingredients. We have found that the best pies are usually the ones that only have about 3 or so toppings. Since we kind of settled on pizza Friday a little late- like noonish that day, we were trying to utilize ingredients we already had on hand so the shopping trip could be brief! We made a list of possible things we had like spinach, tomatoes, Napa cabbage, kale, salami, bacon, homemade kale pesto from the other day, etc. Then I opened the sales flyer from Whole Foods and found they had local pumpkin goat cheese. Sooo…. we started to think about what we had that’d go with that for the first one. Sautéed kale, caramelized onions, and bacon fit the Fall feeling even though it was still 80 degrees out. The second pizza is usually some version of a plain. We opted for gravy and fresh mozzarella and would finish it with fresh basil. The third pie had a layer of the kale pesto, some mozzarella, red onions, and local fresh ricotta.
C stopped at a local restaurant for the dough because the bakery we usually get it at was out. We’ve made our own before and it is really good, but that’s certainly more of a project and something better off planned in advance.
We started by caramelizing the onions and making the gravy so it simmered a little. While that was getting going C rolled out the dough (totally his job!). We like to pre-bake the dough a little in the oven first because it makes it easier once the charcoal grill is fired up. Selfishly, I also love we can have all the other prep done and the dishes cleaned so we can enjoy the pizzas without having to worry about much cleaning afterwards. The trays get a little brush of olive oil, the dough gets some fork pokes, and then it goes in a 500-degree oven for about 5 minutes or so. You want it to just cook, not browned or anything. Then, flip it over when it comes out and it is ready to be topped when you are. This is great for making for a large group. The cooking on the grill moves so fast so if the pies aren’t ready for the grill, you are wasting valuable heat and time. By cooking in the oven a little first, you just prep it for your own ease. The charcoal flavor is not lost in the least.
While that was all going we prepped the rest. Cooked the bacon on the grill and diced it; wilted then sautéed the kale with avocado oil and garlic, salt and pepper; sliced the red onions; and cut up the fresh mozzarella. Once the ingredients were all ready to go we started building! This is the fun part. Smearing the pesto, placing the kale, spooning the gravy, plopping the ricotta, making the pizzas your own! Once they are ready to go C slides them in to the pizza contraption on the weber and I clean up. Then it is time to open the wine and cheers to Pizza Friday!