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Grilled Pizza with Summer Tomato Sauce

A grilled pizza with summer tomato sauce and scallions, cut into 8 wedges on a wooden board.
For this pizza on the grill, I’ve presented a “Margarita” that uses fresh mozzarella, Pecorino or Parmesan, fresh tomato sauce, basil, and scallions (an Al Forno signature move).
Andrew Janjigian

Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins
Total 1 d 5 hrs
Entree
American
4 pizzas
919 kcal

Ingredients 

For the dough

  • 12 1/2 ounces bread flour (about 2 1/4 cups) plus more for the counter
  • 3 tablespoons rye or whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons finely-ground cornmeal, preferably white
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water at 75°F (24°C)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus more for coating
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt

For the sauce

  • 2 pounds nice summer tomatoes cut into 3/8-inch (1 cm) dice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt plus more if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the pizzas

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more if needed
  • 8 tablespoons (2 ounces) Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese grated
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese drained and sliced 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick
  • 4 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly shredded fresh basil
  • Coarse salt

Directions 

Make the dough

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal, and yeast. In a separate large bowl, combine the water and oil. Add about 1/3 of flour mixture to the liquid and whisk to combine. Add remaining flour and stir with hands, dough whisk, or wooden spoon until combined and no dry flour remains, about 30 seconds. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the salt over the top of dough and, using lightly-moistened hands, knead in bowl until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Using lightly-moistened hands, knead the dough in the bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover and let sit until puffy and slightly less than doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Drop the dough onto a lightly-floured counter and divide into four equal pieces (about 6 oz | 170 grams each). Using lightly-moistened hands, shape each into a tight, smooth ball. Coat each ball lightly with oil (or nonstick spray), move to lightly-oiled individual small bowls or sealable containers (if using bowls, cover each one tightly with plastic wrap), and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

Make the sauce

  • Set a colander in the sink or over a large bowl. Dump the tomatoes into the colander, toss with salt and sugar and drain for 30 minutes.
  • Shake colander to remove excess moisture, discard juice, and add tomato mixture to a medium bowl. Add olive oil, garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and sugar, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Make the pizzas

  • One hour before grilling pizzas, remove dough balls and sauce from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature. Fifteen minutes before grilling pizzas, set all grill burners to high, cover, and heat grill to about 500°F (260°C).
  • Clean and oil cooking grates.
  • Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1/4 cup olive oil. Place 1 ball of dough in the center of the sheet and invert to coat both sides with oil. Using flattened hands, gently press and stretch the dough toward the edges of the pan to form an evenly thick 12- by 10-inch (30- by 25-cm) oval. Moving swiftly, lightly grasp both ends of one long side of the dough in your fingertips and drape over the center of grill. Place the bottom tip of the dough on the grates and then stretch the remainder of the dough toward you to form an elongated paddle shape.
  • Cook until grill marks begin to form and dough begins to puff slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, peel dough carefully from grates and rotate 30 degrees or so. Bake until underside is lightly and evenly browned, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a second baking sheet. Repeat steps 9 and 10 with remaining dough balls, adding oil to baking sheet only if necessary.

    TESTER TIP: If you have a large grill surface, you may be able to cook two crusts at a time.

  • Place 1 crust on pizza peel or inverted baking sheet. Brush top of 1 crust with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Distribute 1/4 of Parmesan evenly over crust, followed by 1/4 of mozzarella. Dollop about 6 tablespoons of sauce over and around cheese, then top with 1/4 of the scallions. Transfer the pizza to the grill, cover and cook until cheeses are melted and sauce is steaming, moving pizza around grill as needed to prevent burning, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Move pizza to cutting board, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon basil, drizzle lightly with extra oil, and season with coarse salt to taste. Repeat with remaining crusts.
  • Cut the pizzas into wedges and serve.