Fool Me Twice

July 22, 2008

It’s a minor miracle that this grilled pizza conjures up anything other than the bitter taste of defeat. I’ve made it twice now and both times have been near total disasters. The first time, we had guests and I have no idea how I held it together while they sat sipping wine 10 yards away. I kept glancing over at them from my post at the grill with a perky smile and a hostess-y wave, only to turn back to the pizza, cursing mutedly. And on Sunday night, after a long day of studying, my second try at this pizza nearly reduced me to tears.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

But it’s not really the recipe’s fault. For some reason, my tried and true dough recipe (which has turned out great many times, both in the oven and on the grill) has refused to cooperate when it comes to this recipe. Despite coming together and rising well, the dough—both times—turned into a nightmare when I tried to stretch it out and transfer it to the grill. It tore, stuck to the grates, fell through the grates, grilled unevenly, yada yada yada. Despite all this, I’m positive I’ll make this pizza yet again. And not just because I’m a glutton for punishment. I think it has a little something to do with the toppings: caramelized onions and gorgonzola dolce and toasted walnuts.

To repeat:

Having read (and viewed) that lovely trifecta, can you blame me for willingly subjecting myself to probable disaster again? I think not. And, I shouldn’t complain too loudly about the dough, which, after all was said and done, turned into a perfectly delicious—if a little misshapen—crust. “Rustic,” Kevin called it. Bless him.

Caramelized Onion & Gorgonzola Grilled Pizza
Adapted from Gourmet

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/4 pounds onions (2 large), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
14 to 16 ounces pizza dough, thawed if frozen
1/4 pound Gorgonzola dolce, crumbled (1 cup)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat until it shimmers, then cook onions with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and keep warm, covered.

Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over low charcoal (medium heat for gas).

Stretch dough into a roughly 12- by 10-inch rectangle on a large baking sheet and brush with half the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Bring dough, onions, cheese, nuts and parsley to grill area.

Put dough, oiled side down, on grill and brush top with remaining olive oil oil. Grill, covered, until underside is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Using tongs, return crust to baking sheet, turning crust over (grilled side up). Sprinkle evenly with onions, cheese, nuts, and parsley. Slide pizza from sheet onto grill and grill, covered, until underside is golden brown and cheese is partially melted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into pieces.

14 Responses to “Fool Me Twice”

  1. eggsonsunday Says:

    Trifecta, indeed! What *great* toppings. Little slices of heaven. Yum! -Amy

  2. Mia Says:

    your pizza looks absolutely beautiful to me! i’ve only tried grilled pizza with the help of a pizza stone, but it sure was a breeze. also, maybe doing a couple small pizzas instead of a big one would help with the dough difficulties? oh, and those toppings? so delicious….

  3. This looks wonderful. I’ve never had any luck grilling pizza, either, and can’t even bring myself to try again for fear of continuing failure!

  4. The grilled pizza looks amazing! I admire you for braving failure once more: from the ashes of defeat rises this phoenix! Wow, I am in awe of its magnificence!

  5. cookinpanda Says:

    However the pizza turns out looking–rustic or not, beautiful or not, attractive at all or not– this grilled pizza has to taste better than most other pizzas. For that reasons, I hope you do make this again because it sounds incredible… it looks completely fine in the photos anyway. I’d say, a step up from rustic even.

  6. grace Says:

    kristin. come on now. nothing about those pictures indicates failure to me. you wanna see failure, you come into my kitchen every once in awhile. 🙂
    i think it looks great and i know it sounds great. here’s hoping it meets your standards next time! 🙂

  7. Amy: Are these ingredients coming soon to a FNP near you? Hope so!

    Mia: The grilling part of grilled pizza has gone well for me before, but for some reason this dough hasn’t gone well the last two times I’m made it. I don’t think it would’ve come out well even in the oven. Also — and this is embarrassing — but you’re reminding me that we have a pizza stone. Um, perhaps I should’ve used that.

    amy: Thanks!

    js: Thank you!

    cookinpanda: A step up from rustic? Why thank you. Now I’m blushing! 🙂

    grace: In my defense, I only photographed the serviceable end of the pizza. The other end was the rustic one. Also, this was supposed to be a 12 x 10 inch pizza and after all was said and done, it was 4 x 10. You just have to trust me that it was a disaster. A delicious disaster, but a disaster! 🙂

  8. Gena Says:

    I’ve had this pizza and i must furiously disagree with the manner in which it has been described. This pizza is delicious, and the dough/crust is crispy on the bottom and soft inside. And i will happily atend trial three of the dish.

  9. Katie Says:

    Even if your dough didn’t cooperate, this combo of ingredients I’m sure made up for it

  10. tara Says:

    Rustic, my dear Aunt Fanny. That is a lovely looking pizza, and the toppings are nothing short of a to die for combination. I have been craving blue cheese lately, and this photo might be what pushes me over the edge to go get some. Sorry to hear it gave you such trouble, but thank you for sharing nonetheless!

  11. Nate Says:

    I would definitely try using the pizza stone on the grill. You won’t get those lovely grill marks but at least it’ll hold together. Good luck with your next attempt!

  12. Wow! This pizza looks amazing. Gorgonzola is a great cheese.

  13. Gena: Yes, you’d be one of the wine-sippers 10 yards away. I’m glad you guys liked it on round one. Post-bar-exam dinner, please?

    Katie: You’re right! I could’ve topped an old tire with these three things and might’ve been good.

    tara: This will definitely hit the spot, blue cheese-wise. Thanks for commenting!

    Nate: The worst part is that this one didn’t even really get grill marks because I was moving it around so much trying to save it. Sad. But, next time, the pizza stone.

    S: Thanks! Agree re: gorgonzola. I am especially loving gorgonzola dolce (used here).

  14. Katie Says:

    Kristin…love your pictures! Everything looks so yum! Can’t wait to try your gougeres recipe.

    About this recipe..coincidentally, I tried this last week and it was a big hit! TJ’s pizza dough worked well, perhaps because it was still cold when it hit the grill?

    I just oiled one side of the dough, tossed it on the grill, flipped once, added the onion/cheese toppings, and ten minutes later…whoa, I’m getting hungry again!

    Please give it another try…I think it’s worth it. Good luck!

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