Saturday, June 9, 2012

(Belated) Farm Fridays: Grilled Vegetable Pizza

No, I haven't forgotten about Farm Fridays. I planned to make a nice broccoli salad last night with dinner and then blog about it. But that broccoli salad turned out . . . not pretty. And the rest of the meal was the potato salad I posted about a few weeks ago and some barbecue chicken. So there was no post last night. I will make up for it with a post today, and another in a few days, both from this week's delicious produce.

The seasons are changing at the farm. The greens are much reduced (at least, for now) and other vegetables are making their way into my farm basket. This week, we got four heads of lettuce (mostly butter lettuce, which is my favorite!), gorgeous broccoli, bok choy, red chard, garlic scapes, zucchini, scallions and strawberries. I also picked some garlic chives and winter savory (which I'm hoping to root and plant in my own herb garden!). But this was not my only CSA dealing this weekend. Apparently the Friday people got fewer strawberries than everyone else (since they weren't available for our first pick up), so we were allowed to go down to the Chesterfield farm for extra strawberries this weekend. So first thing this morning, Jeff and I got in the car and headed down for our bonus berries. We got another quart of strawberries and another bonus: a quart of green beans!

Since we were already in the area, Jeff and I then headed to Russo's Orchard Lane Farm, just down the road. I visit Russo's stand at the Trenton Farmers Market (we've been enjoying their greenhouse-grown Jersey tomatoes for the past few weeks), but I'd never been down to the farm. At their quaint little farm store, we picked up some grape tomatoes as well as a pile of snap peas, shelling peas, blueberries and garlic. The ride home was awesome, as Jeff and I gorged ourselves on straight-from-the-farm raw summer goodness. While raw green beans are good, raw snap peas are better, and raw shelling peas are just heavenly. There is no better way to spend a summer morning.

Our fresh summer day finished off with a delicious grilled vegetable pizza. I had been planning a pizza with the zucchini from this week's farm share and an ancient red onion from my basement, but I was inspired to add the pert little grape tomatoes as well. At the last minute I decided that our pizza dough ought to be grilled as well. Good decision. The pizza we make on our pizza stone is good, but the crust is never as crispy as we'd like it to be - grilling it resulted in a delightfully crispy crust with picturesque grill marks. I don't think we'll be seeing much of our pizza stone in the near future.

Grilled Vegetable Pizza
2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4" slabs
1 red onion sliced into 1/4" rings
10 cherry tomatoes
cooking spray
1 pizza dough (mine was homemade with this recipe, minus the basil)
3/4 c pizza sauce (I'm out of home-canned sauce, so I used store-bought)
6 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 tbsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Coat grill rack with cooking spray, then preheat to about 375°F. Spray the zucchini, onion and tomatoes with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. String the tomatoes onto a skewer. When the grill is hot, spread the veggies on the rack and cook 5-6 minutes on each side, until tender (the tomatoes only need about 5 minutes total). Remove and slice into bite-sized bits.

Arrange your toppings next to the grill. Make sure everything is prepped and ready for you to top your pizza quickly!

With the heat between 300 and 350°F, roll out the dough and carefully place it onto the grill, keeping it from sagging between the rungs. Cook 3 minutes, covered until the bottom is cooked and starting to bubble.

Flip the dough, then quickly arrange the toppings: sauce first, then veggies, then cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Close the lid and cook another 6-10 minutes, until the cheese is melty and the bottom crust is nice and crispy. Slide onto a serving platter and enjoy!

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