Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grilled Pizza with Italian Sausage

Grilled pizza is kind of like the epitome of summer for me.    It is easy, colorful and fresh.    What's not to love?   The preparation is actually also an incredibly fun social activity if you get others involved.     Perfect for informal evening parties or family gatherings on the deck.

This is one of those foods that brings back deep memories of growing up in New Hampshire.   My mother went through a grilled pizza phase for a couple of summers.  Once you get the basics down, this is a perfect food for experimenting with and it is so flexible since everyone can choose their own toppings.    I remember those summer evenings like they were yesterday.   So much fun.  While summer in New England isn't long, those perfect summer days and nights are truly memorable.

One other note on this, if you've been following me around since Italy, you'll also know that I am a huge fan of super thin crispy pizza, the kind that can only be achieved in ovens heated to a gazillion degrees.   I have found that while not exactly the same, I can achieve a similar effect on the grill.   Super high temps help crisp the dough and prepare for toppings and it imparts a lovely smokiness that adds so much flavor and depth.

I found this recipe on Epicurious.com.   One of my favorite sites for browsing (aka time wasting).  If you search for grilled pizza, you'll find a bunch of recipes, but I'd start with this one because it is so amazingly fantastic.    It is honestly not hard, even though the instructions look super long.     I'd also encourage you to make this exactly as noted.  I have a tendency to change things around, but this recipe is seriously perfect as is.    Oh, and the fresh rosemary in here is outstanding, it really makes a difference.

Grilled Pizza with Spicy Italian Sausage

I will confess to one small variation.   We substituted mild for spicy sausage.   I love spicy.   John doesn't.   I've learned to compromise when needed!

Oops, actually two.  I used cherry tomatoes since we had those available.

John and I made this together.  I made the dough and prepped all the fun and colorful ingredients.   He was in charge of the grilling activity.   Everything came together just beautifully.

It is a gorgeous dish to look at with all of the color and contrast.     The flavors are also a perfect balance of sweet, smoky, fresh and tangy.    We looked at each other after the first bite and literally almost did a happy dance in the kitchen.  

Love, love, love this recipe.    Definitely a summer keeper, although next time we'll invite friends over for a fun evening.   Lots of versatility with wine pairing too.   This would be perfect with a crisp pinot grigio or lightly sweet rose or even a chianti to pick up the smokiness in the sausage.  

Bon Appetit!


  1. it's so...pretty! i love this idea - we definitely need to establish some other dishes for our grill (now that we finally have one). i'm getting pretty sick of hot dogs. :P

    ps - the pistachio macaroon was just as good as i'd hoped! i'm so glad you wrote a post about them, otherwise i'm not sure i'd have ever given them a fair chance. :D

  2. Kelli - yay! I am so happy to hear that! If the pizza equals summer for me, they for sure equal Paris! But hey, I don't think I could ever get sick of hot dogs... especially if you can get them to the perfect stage of pre-burnt... yum.

  3. Wow...this looks so good! I wish we had a place to grill in NYC, I fear it is very much against city ordinance to grill between buildings and in hallways. Too bad, I will have to try this the next trip I make down south. Your photos are great!


Thanks so much for your comments! I love hearing from you and read each and every one!