Finally, it’s official. Summer is here. It’s bittersweet, isn’t it? The official start of summer somewhat signifies its end. I kinda think to myself “yay, now it’s official, so ya know, it can officially end in 2.5 months…which will pass in the blink of an eye.” I know. What a depressing way to look at things. I can’t help it! This whole “time flies” thing is becoming my life mantra. I’m trying to soak up every second of life while simultaneously wishing it would all slow the heck down!
Anyway. As I recently mentioned, I have been a grilling machine for the past month or so. It’s my go-to method of cooking these days, and I LOVE trying new recipes out on the grill. I attempted grilled romaine the other night, and it stunk. Like, it didn’t get crispy. It kinda turned into this wilted, soggy mess. What am I doing wrong? Help me. Aside from that catastrophe, my grilling usually results in delicious meals.
This pizza is no exception. Have you tried grilling pizza yet? I did it last summer for the first time and FELL IN LOVE. Not only do I love the fact that you don’t have to crank your oven temperature up to a bajillion degrees in the heat of summer, but also, there is nothing like the charred crispiness you get from a grill. Paired with gooey cheese…I’m swooning. Throw on some marinated, super tender skirt steak and caramelized balsamic onions…I’m dead. Yup. DEAD.
Gosh, this pizza is good. Understatement of the century. OK, that was dramatic. Understatement of the week? Haha. Yeah, that’s more appropriate when we’re discussing pizza. I get excited, guys. Anywho. This pizza is so gosh-darn delicious. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you must try whipping your ricotta. It still astounds me how creamy and rich and lovely it gets. Using it as a pizza base is pretty much genius. Yup, I just called myself a genius. You’ll agree with me once you try it. Whip it. Whip it good.
I topped the pillowy cheese layer with some marinated, very, very, very tender skirt steak. How does it get so tender? By marinating it for 24 hours. I know. That’s pretty high maintenance. But it’s sooooo worth it, guys! The steak just melts in your mouth and is PACKED with salty umami flavor. Total yum fest. Bonus: you’ll end up with a decent amount of extra steak (unless you make a serious meat-lovers version of this pizza). Eat it on the side of the pizza. Or over a salad. Or in a burrito bowl. Or by itself straight out of the fridge the next morning. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. It’s my absolute favorite steak marinade to date, and I see many a skirt steak in our summer future.
To add some needed sweetness to the situation, I caramelized some onions with red pepper flakes and syrupy balsamic vinegar. The onions alone make me want to do backflips. I couldn’t stop eating them right out of the pan. I think they were down by a third by the time I actually layered them on the pizza. Whoops.
Once this baby came off the grill pipin’ hot, I thought it needed some freshness and color. So, I topped it with some lightly dressed baby arugula. Perfection. It adds that fresh, sharp bite you need…especially in the summer. It’s your salad and pizza all in one! Totally makes up for the high maintenance components of this pizza. Instead of making pizza AND a salad, you just eat them as one. Winning!
It is the perfect way to half-celebrate/half-mourn the official start of summer.
1 lb skirt steak (or flank steak)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Hefty pinch of salt and pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Dash of hot sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 large or 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 (15-oz) container ricotta cheese
1-lb ball of pizza dough
The skirt steak, thinly sliced
The balsamic red onions
½ cup grated pecorino cheese
3 cups baby arugula
Juice of half a lemon
Whisk all the ingredients for the marinade together and submerge the steak. Refrigerate the steak for at least 8 hours and up to 24, flipping the steak a couple times throughout the marination time.
Heat a grill to medium-high and oil the grates. Add the steak (discard the marinade) and cook for 3 minutes per side. Allow to rest, tented with foil, for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Keep your grill on if you plan to make the pizza immediately.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes and reduce the heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until the onions are super soft and the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the ricotta in a food processor and whip until fluffy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Roll out the pizza dough to desired thickness and brush liberally with olive oil. Oil the grates of your already-hot grill and carefully place the dough, oiled side down, on the grill. Close the lid to the grill and cook on the first side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and charred. Brush the top side with olive oil and flip over.
Working quickly, spread the ricotta cheese over the dough and top with the sliced steak, balsamic onions, and pecorino cheese.
Close the lid of the grill and cook for about 5-7 minutes, rotating the pizza once about halfway through (all grills are different so I would check on it every couple minutes). The pizza is done when the cheese is bubbly and the pizza dough is crispy/charred on the bottom and cooked through. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and then top with the baby arugula tossed lightly with olive oil and lemon juice. Slice and serve.