Pizza on the grill is my number one way to entertain outdoors. Just ask any of my friends and neighbors, and they'll tell you there is always a fresh pie on the grates. I love creating new flavors using up the last of my farmers market finds, and cherry tomato, corn, and goat cheese pizza is one of the best. This grilled pizza showcases some of my favorite summer ingredients, and the glorious taste of that summer goodness will please your dinner guests completely.
Pizza has always been my favorite food, and my fiancé and I have been perfecting our pizza-cooking craft for what seems like decades now. From the all out crazy (Spaghetti-Os and meatballs pizza, anyone?) to the plain and simple, we really have tried them all.
One thing I have learned when it comes to making them from scratch is that less is definitely more. Now is not the time to pile a volcano of flavors on top of the dough — it's 100% guaranteed to erupt all over the stone, grill, and grates. (I'm looking at you, Drew!) Just a thin layer of sauce and two, maybe three, quality toppings are all you need. And while in the winter I crave hearty, meat-centric pies, summer is all about showcasing the freshest of veggie options.
I've played around with lots of seasonal summer ingredients over the years, but I can't think of anything better than a cherry tomato, corn, and goat cheese combo. It is one of the warm weather pizzas I turn to again and again. All of the flavors simply come together perfectly with each individual burst of tart and sweet and tangy, creating, to me at least, the ultimate al fresco treat!
The recipe is practically a non-recipe. Add the ingredients to taste, but not too much! You want each and every flavor to shine. Cut it up in pieces to serve as an easy appetizer, or make a couple of individual rounds to act as a simple (yet filling) dinner. A crisp rosé is not required but definitely doesn't hurt — just don't forget to raise your glass to another wonderful summer.
Cherry Tomato, Corn, and Goat Cheese Pizza
Makes one large (10 to 12 inch) pizza or two to four small (individual) pizzas
1 ball pizza dough, store bought or homemade
2 to 3 tablespoons tomato sauce, store-bought or homemade
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or to taste
2 ears sweet yellow corn, shucked and kernels cut off the cob
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 (4-ounce) package goat cheese
Freshly chopped basil, for garnish
Kosher salt and red pepper flakes
Place a pizza stone directly on grates of a grill and preheat covered on high for at least 15 minutes. (You want the grill as hot as possible.)
Roll out the dough (using flour if necessary to prevent sticking) on a piece of parchment paper or pizza peel dusted generously with semolina flour or cornmeal. Add a very thin layer of tomato sauce — less is more for this pizza — and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle a small amount of mozzarella on top, followed by the corn and tomatoes.
Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone and cover. After 2 minutes, lift the cover and drop gumball-sized pieces of goat cheese over the pizza. (If cooking on parchment, remove it at this point or it will burn and stick to the pizza.) Cover and finish cooking until desired doneness and crispiness is reached, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Using long tongs, pull the pizza back onto the pizza peel. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before garnishing with basil. Slice and serve immediately.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)