Grilled pizza with wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, and fontina Wendy Goodfriend
Grilled pizza with wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, and fontina (Wendy Goodfriend)

On the Grill for Father's Day: Grilled Pizza with Wild Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Fontina

On the Grill for Father's Day: Grilled Pizza with Wild Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Fontina

I’m not going to lie, grilling pizza is not an easy task. It takes a bit of patience and quite a bit of practice, and if your grill is too hot you can easily burn the dough (and if it’s not hot enough, your dough won’t cook through). I know because I’ve done all these things. But it really is worth it. Grilling your pizza adds smoky flavor to the entire thing, and it is definitely an event.

First off, a word about the dough. Now, you probably aren’t going to go to the trouble of making your own, although I would always recommend it. Especially because you can now easily find pretty decent pre-made pizza dough at shops like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It typically comes in a 12 to 16oz balls. Just make sure that whatever dough you do make or purchase isn’t overly sticky and floppy or your dough will slide right through the grate. You want a thicker, more substantial dough.

Bring your dough to room temperature for an hour before you start. You can do this while you get the toppings ready.

With sweet caramelized onions, nutty fontina cheese, and a bunch of garlic-kissed earthy wild mushrooms, this is one of my favorite pizzas, but feel free to use your favorite toppings using this method. This is what’s known as a white pizza, meaning it has no tomato sauce. I find that works well on the grill because the sauce does tend to make the crust a bit soggy if you over-do it.

The first step is to grill one side of the crust to get the crust to set. Then pull it off the grill and top the grilled side. Put the ungrilled side back onto the grill grate, and then cover the grill to mimic an oven so that the cheese will melt. This is where things can get tricky. I find that if the coals are too hot, your pizza will burn before the dough cooks through. A medium fire should do just fine. But make sure you move that dough around and rotate it so that you don’t end up in a hot spot. You want to evenly cook the dough on both sides.

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If you do it right, you will be rewarded with an exemplary pizza. And your entire family and all your friends will think you are pretty damn amazing because you can make a pizza on the grill.

Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza
Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza

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Makes two 12-inch pizzas; serves 4 to 6

    Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • About 12 oz wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Two 14-oz balls purchased pizza dough
  • 1 cup shredded fontina or mozzarella cheese
Chop the wild mushrooms
Chop the wild mushrooms (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Instructions:
  1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter along with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until golden and caramelized, about 10–15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to a bowl.
  2. Caramelize the onions
    Caramelize the onions (Wendy Goodfriend)
  3. Add the mushrooms, rosemary, and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions.
  4. Add the mushrooms, rosemary, and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes.
    Add the mushrooms, rosemary, and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  5. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium direct heat. Clean the grill grate.
  6. Pull out each piece of dough into a 12-inch round, then place each on a parchment-lined baking sheet. For each dough round, brush one side lightly with olive oil. Lay the dough round on the grill, olive oil–side down. Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil.
  7. Pull out each piece of dough into a 12-inch round
    Pull out each piece of dough into a 12-inch round (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Place each on a parchment-lined baking sheet. For each dough round, brush one side lightly with olive oil.
    Place each on a parchment-lined baking sheet. For each dough round, brush one side lightly with olive oil. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Lay the dough round on the grill, olive oil–side down. Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil.
    Lay the dough round on the grill, olive oil–side down. Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  8. Cook the dough until set (it should have grill marks), rotating the dough occasionally once you can move it, then using tongs and/or a wide spatula, turn the pizza over onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the 2nd dough round.
  9. Cook the dough until set (it should have grill marks), rotating the dough occasionally once you can move it, then using tongs and/or a wide spatula, turn the pizza over onto the baking sheet.
    Cook the dough until set (it should have grill marks), rotating the dough occasionally once you can move it, then using tongs and/or a wide spatula, turn the pizza over onto the baking sheet. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    The grilled side up pizza on the baking sheet.
    The grilled side up pizza on the baking sheet. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  10. Top the grilled side of the pizza evenly with half the mushroom-onion mixture, then the cheese. Put the dough round back on the grill. Cover the grill and let cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the dough is cooked through, rotating the pizza every so often to avoid hot spots and burnt pizza. Repeat with the 2nd dough round. Serve at once.
  11. Top the grilled side of the pizza evenly with half the mushroom-onion mixture.
    Top the grilled side of the pizza evenly with half the mushroom-onion mixture. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Then add the cheese.
    Then add the cheese. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Put the dough round back on the grill.
    Put the dough round back on the grill. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Cover the grill and let cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the dough is cooked through, rotating the pizza every so often to avoid hot spots and burnt pizza.
    Cover the grill and let cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the dough is cooked through, rotating the pizza every so often to avoid hot spots and burnt pizza. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Slice and serve at once.
    Slice and serve at once. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza
    Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza (Wendy Goodfriend)

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