Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Take BLT from sandwich to pizza on the grill

By ELIZABETH KARMEL The Associated Press - Published: September 4, 2013

BLT sandwiches are synonymous with summer. The only thing better than a BLT sandwich is a grilled BLT pizza. And once you've had grilled pizza, you'll never want to eat pizza any other way. This is because the toppings go on after the crust already is grilled, so every slice will be crispy, crunchy and slightly smoky.

The key to grilled pizza is using a combination of direct and indirect heat. You start by grilling the crust on one side over medium direct heat. Then you flip the dough, add the toppings to the grilled side, then continue cooking everything over indirect heat.

GRILLED BLT PIZZA

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Yield: 4 servings

1 heart of romaine lettuce Olive oil Kosher salt 1 ball prepared pizza dough, room temperature 1/4 cup uncooked grits or polenta, for rolling dough 1 cup summer tomato-basil sauce (see recipe) 3 ounces blue cheese or brie, sliced or cubed 8 strips center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled 4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese Ground black pepper

Procedure:

Heat a grill to high. Once the grill is hot, reduce it to medium. If desired, place a ceramic or cast-iron grill pan on the grates and let it heat before making pizza. You also can grill the pizza directly on the grates.

Cut the romaine heart in half lengthwise, keeping the core intact. Using 1 tablespoon of oil, brush both halves with oil on all sides, then sprinkle with salt. Grill over direct heat until the outer leaves are charred but the inside is still crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Trim off and discard the tough end/core of each half, then slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons. Set aside.

Dust a work surface lightly with grits or polenta, then roll out the dough over it. Aim for the dough to be about 1/4 inch thick. Brush the dough liberally on both sides with olive oil, using about 2 tablespoons.

Place the dough on the grill grates or grill pan and immediately close the lid. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottom of the crust is marked and golden brown. Use tongs to transfer the dough to a rimless baking sheet, flipping it grilled side up as you do so. Turn off one side of the grill or bank the charcoals to one side to prepare for cooking with indirect heat.

Drizzle olive oil over grilled side of dough. Spoon sauce over surface of pizza, then sprinkle with bacon and cheeses. Using tongs to guide it, slide pizza off baking sheet and onto cooler side of grill. Cover and cook 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and tomatoes are warmed through.

Use tongs to return the pizza to the baking sheet. Top the pizza with the romaine, then season with salt and pepper. Slice and serve immediately.

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