If you’ve never grilled pizza before, now is the time to try! It’s so easy, a big crowd pleaser, and you get a deliciously crunchy, charred crust that you just can’t get from an oven. It gets topped with bright herby basil pesto, melty mozzarella, tangy creamy goat cheese, and sweet juicy cherries. Go with this combo or choose your own pizza topping journey! This could be a meal for two or three or served up as an appetizer.

Ingredient highlight

Cherries! These little stone fruits are packed with vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. The deep red cherries are rich in anthocyanins – a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phenol.

Servings 2 – 4 people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes

Ingredients

  • Cornmeal, for dusting
  • 1 lb store bought pizza dough*
  • 1 cup homemade or store bought pesto**
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese (about 4 oz)
  • 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted, quartered
  • Grated parmesan
  • Black pepper

Other pizza topping ideas:

  • Pesto peach: replace the cherries with peaches (or strawberries)
  • Fig and pig: pesto + mozzarella + prosciutto + fresh figs
  • Grilled veggie marinara: marinara + mozzarella + grilled veggies on top
  • Hot honey pepperoni: marinara + mozzarella + jalapenos + pepperoni + corn + drizzle with honey + sprinkle with red pepper flakes
  • White marinara: generous mozzarella base topped with grilled zucchini + corn and dollops of marinara all over + parmesan on top
  • *You can find this at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s in the refrigerated section. I like to get mine locally in Bend at Jackson’s Corner Bakery. If you can’t find dough, you could make it yourself or just buy a big flatbread (like naan or lavash). Some stores will sell frozen pizza crusts that are already shaped for you.
  • **I’m realizing now that I don’t have a classic pesto recipe in the Cooking Club. I generally follow this ratio: 2-3 cups packed basil + 4 oz parmesan + ½ cup toasted almonds or raw walnuts + 3-4 tbsp lemon juice + ½-1 teaspoon salt + 1 clove garlic, blend that up, then with the motor running, drizzle in about ¼-⅓ cup olive oil. For a vegan pesto, try this recipe!
  • Note: ~ You can really get inventive with your toppings. Grill up some summer veggies and place that on top of the pesto or make it classic marinara pizza with cheese and grilled veggies.

Instructions

  • Preheat your grill on high for at least 10 minutes
  • Sprinkle a large cutting board generously with cornmeal. Place the dough on top, divide into two equal portions, and set one aside. Sprinkle some flour on top to prevent fingers from sticking. Use your fingers to press/stretch each portion out into a roughly ¼-inch thick oblong shape (don’t form a thicker “crust” on the edges, you want it all a uniform thickness). Add more cornmeal or flour if the dough is sticking to the board or your hands. You can use a rolling pin towards the end if you’d like. Don't make it too thin or it will tear. Brush olive oil on one side.
  • Carefully transfer the dough from the cutting board to the grill, placing the oiled side down. Cover and let cook for 1 minute, or until charred on the bottom and bubbly on top (if your grill tends to run super hot, reduce the heat a bit so it doesn’t get scorched).
  • Use a spatula to loosen the pizza from the grill grates and transfer the pizza back to the cutting board, flipping it over so that the grilled side is facing up. Add your toppings to the grilled side (spread the pesto all over + top evenly with mozzarella and goat cheese).
  • Transfer back to the grill. Cover and let cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the dough is charred on the bottom and toppings are bubbling a bit.
  • Let cool for about 5 minutes, then scatter the cherries all over. Top with parmesan and black pepper. Use kitchen shears or pizza cutter and cut into rectangles.

Oven instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 500F. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven to preheat. Once your dough is pressed out (any shape will work), transfer it to the preheated sheet or stone and put toppings on top (same as recipe above). Reduce the oven temp to 450F and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through.

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • If not using store bought, make your own pizza dough.
  • If not using store bought, make your own pesto.
  • Grate 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Pit and quarter 1 cup cherries

Substitutions:

  • To make gluten-free, use a gluten-free pizza dough or an alternative gluten-free flatbread. You could also turn this into a grain bowl (grain + roasted or grilled veg + protein + pesto + cherries + goat cheese).
  • To make vegan, make this vegan pesto and skip the cheese on top or use a vegan mozzarella cheese alternative. Make this vegan ricotta and dollop that on the pizza once it’s done cooking on the grill.
  • Use feta or dollops of ricotta instead of goat cheese.

Storage:

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer:
    • Cooked pizza: up to 4 days in the fridge
    • Pesto: up to 6 days in the fridge or freeze for up to 2 months
    • Pizza dough: 5 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • To reheat leftover pizza, place it in a skillet with a lid and cook, covered, over medium-high heat until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes.

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