I am always in the mood for pizza. And I mean ALWAYS. Probably seven days a week, if you were to ask me if I wanted pizza for dinner, my answer would be an enthusiastic yes 99% of the time. For reals.
It is definitely one of my favorite foods, and I love it every which way. My ultimate pizza is thin and charred from a wood oven, with a light topping of sauce and cheese or cheese and pesto. The thinner the better! That said, I can also get down with a deep dish pie (Chicago style) loaded with chunky tomato sauce and loads of gooey mozzarella. I happen to live on the East Coast, where pizza reigns supreme. People know what they’re doing with pizza ’round these parts, and I would be hard pressed to find a pizza I didn’t love.
One thing I don’t love at the moment, however, is the idea of turning on the oven. We’re smack dab in the middle of a horrendous heat wave, and the thought of cooking with any heat source inside the house is incredibly unappealing.
We’ve been doing lots of easy meals with tons of salad, fresh summer produce, and cold, icy smoothies. We have been doing some grilling too. Because even when it’s 100 degrees outside with 80% humidity, there’s something fabulous about eating a freshly grilled cheeseburger and washing it down with a frosty glass of beer. #summer
But when I get that all-too-familiar hankering for pizza, the cheeseburger simply won’t do. In fact, most things won’t. Pizza is pizza is pizza, and there really isn’t a replacement out there. Except maybe a stromboli, which is basically pizza wrapped up around itself. Um, hello? That’s heaven.
Grilled pineapple is a wonderful thing. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you do! It’s a great topper for burgers and sandwiches, believe it or not, and it adds the perfect, caramely sweetness to this pizza. It is an awesome balance between the sweetness, sharp cheese, and peppery basil pesto. Oh, and let’s not forget the bacon! Pineapple and bacon together is a very good thing. A very, very good thing.
If you’re like me and have totally dropped the meal planning ball this summer (happens to me every summer. I’m all over it in the winter, but for some reason, I’m more lax in the summer), keep things easy on yourself and buy your pesto and pizza dough at the store.
Secret time: that’s what I did here for this pizza. I bought a brand of pesto I know and love, and I found some really great pizza dough in the bakery section of my store (check there first! It’s way better than the dough in a can). And while that may be considered scandalous by some, I’m OK with the decision. Because it meant dinner could be ready in 20 minutes with minimal effort but maximal flavor. And that is a huge win on a Monday.
The best part? There’s hardly any clean up! Everything happens on the grill (except the bacon – that has to happen in a skillet or in the oven. Womp womp).
Which means you can stay cool while making and eating this pizza. Which is totally another win on a Monday.
⅓ of a fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced into rounds
Pizza dough, store bought or homemade
⅓ cup basil pesto, store bought or homemade
6 strips of bacon, crisped and chopped or crumbled
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded fontina cheese
½ cup shredded asiago cheese
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Preheat the grill to medium-high and lightly oil the grates. Toss the pineapple rounds in a little oil as well.
Place the pineapple on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until caramelized grill marks appear and the pineapple softens slightly. Remove the pineapple from the grill and set aside. Increase the grill temperature to high.
While the grill is heating up, roll out the pizza dough to desired shape and thickness. I like thinner pizza, so I rolled it out as thin as possible without breaking or tearing the dough.
Liberally oil one side of the dough. Carefully transfer the dough to the hot grill, placing it oiled-side down directly on the grill grate (I kind of draped it over my hands and spread it out on the grill that way. I’m sure you could use a pizza peel or baking sheet to do the same thing, though). 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 (long tongs work really well for this).
Working very quickly, spread the pesto in an even layer over the grilled side of the dough. Top with the grilled pineapple rounds, crisped bacon, and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.
Close the lid of the grill and cook for about 5 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 melted and the pizza dough is crispy/charred on the bottom and cooked through. Remove from heat, cool slightly, garnish with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil, and then slice and serve.