Grilled Margherita Pizza | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Grilled Margherita Pizza

This 4th of July, add a new item to your usual hotdog and hamburger grill menu. Grilled pizza is versatile, fresh and easy, and is a delicious vegetarian option for your holiday feast. Buying premade refrigerated pizza dough cuts down on your prep time, getting you out of the kitchen quickly and back outside with your family and friends. You can experiment with your favorite toppings and flavors, but in the summer when tomatoes are fresh, my favorite is this grilled take on a traditional margherita pizza.

4 vine-ripened tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
One container pre-made refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
6 ounces fresh mozerella
1 fresh garlic clove minced

Preheat the grill to a medium cooking temperature (around 350 degrees). Preheat the oven and bake crust according to package directions.

While the crust bakes, slice the tomatoes in half, remove the seeds, then coarsely chop and set in a medium sized mixing bowl. Shred the basil leaves into thin strips and add to the tomatoes. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and red pepper flakes to the tomato basil mixture, and stir to combine.

Thinly slice and coarsely chop the mozzarella and set aside.

Once the crust is ready, spread the tomato mixture in an even layer, top with the mozerella, and add one last drizzle of olive oil. Transfer the pizza to the grill, but do not place on direct heat: place on a rack, or turn the front burners off if you're using a gas grill. Grill until the crust browns and the cheese bubbles, about 4-6 minutes depending on your grill.

Makes six to eight servings.

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