Pizza Bianca on the Grill + Artichoke Appetizer

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I love pizza. I mean, I reallyyyyy love pizza. New York style? Count me in. Neapolitan style? My fave. Chicago deep dish? Yeah, I’m all over it like white on rice.

To me, nothing beats the classic Pizza Margherita — Neapolitan style from a wood-fired oven (straight from Rome, if possible). But sometimes, when I’m feeling just a tad adventurous, I do crazy things like put zucchini and other random vegetables on my pizza. With no sauce. But still copious amounts of cheese.

That’s what happened this night. It’s spring, after all, and I’m craving lighter foods. Which is why I suggested to my roomie that we make Pizza Bianca with veggies. She looked at me like an alien had abducted my mind and taken control of my thoughts. You see, she’s kinda a dude at heart. And she eats like one too. But I’m kinda a dude at heart too and I definitely eat like one, which is why our relationship works.

So we did both — Pizza Bianca and Dude Pizza. Dude Pizza consists of sauce, cheese, and any meat you can find in your fridge. Ours happened to be sausage. And mushrooms.

The Pizza Bianca? Reallyyyy good. Light (by pizza standards), refreshing, and delish. Throw in some wine and a good side salad, and then call me so I can come join you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of your favorite pizza dough — if you’re not making this from scratch, use Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough. It’s clean, healthy, and to die for.
  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 4 oz. fresh fontina cheese, sliced
  • 2 cloves of freshly minced garlic
  • 1/2 a red pepper, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 a can of artichoke hearts, quartered
  • handful of button mushrooms, sliced
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • red pepper chili flakes, if desired

Instructions:

Preheat and clean your BBQ.

Roll out your pizza dough on floured surface into whatever shape you fancy. I did rectangular because I’m lazy. Also because I’m anal and it pisses me off when I can’t get my pizza into perfectly round circles.

Slice up your veggies.

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Saute them in a little bit of olive oil for a couple minutes, just until softened. This step isn’t necessary, but I like softer veggies on my pizza.

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Transfer your rolled out dough to a floured cookie sheet. Bring that cookie sheet out to the BBQ (with your wine) and grill only one side of the dough until it is lightly toasted (about 3-4 minutes). Don’t worry if the dough sags a little between the grates — it shouldn’t fall all the way through. Once lightly cooked, remove from the grill, and bring back into the house.

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Brush the cooked, I repeat, the cooked, side of the dough with olive oil. Spread the fresh garlic over the dough. Arrange the fontina and mozzarella slices + sauteed veggies + artichoke hearts over the top. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Throw back on the grill until the cheese is melted and the dough is lightly toasted.

While you’re waiting for the pizza to finish grilling, you’re probably digging through your cupboards looking for something to snack on. Ready for the easiest appetizer ever? Dump the rest of your artichoke hearts on a plate, sprinkle with leftover mozzarella cheese, and either microwave or broil until cheese is melted. Devour. For reals, it’s really good.

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Proof:

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Yields: Roughly 5 servings.

Recipe from: Yours truly.

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