Friday, June 28, 2013

Grilled Naan Pizza

I have been increasingly curious about the grilled pizza trend.  I've been hesitant to try it with fresh pizza dough for a couple of reason.  First of all, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to try to manipulate fresh dough over the grates of a hot grill.  I'm pretty sure my pizza would end up severely disfigured.  Secondly, I'm very picky about what pizza dough I enjoy and the only ones I personally like are on the softer side (think Pizza Hut pan pizza style) and those I am almost certainly wouldn't survive the grill, unless baked on a stone.  So I haven't really ventured into the world of grilled pizzas... until now.

Recently I was pondering some ideas for fun and casual backyard dinner parties and one of the ideas that came to mind was to serve an assortment of small grilled pizzas.  To make things easier, I thought about using some sort of prepared dough.  Most of the already cooked pizzas doughs you pick up at the store are large and, honestly, a little 'blah' in texture.  Then I thought about using naan.  The hubby and I absolutely adore Trader Joe's Tandoori Garlic Naan and I thought it would be the perfect base for small grilled pizzas.  After a little Googling I discovered I wasn't the first to come up with the idea... and I was sold.  I had to try it.

I made these as a quick Thursday night post-work dinner and they were quick and satisfying.  I even whipped up (the world's easiest) homemade sauce for our pizzas.  Using the Trader Joe's naan makes these a great last-minute meal or appetizer as you don't have to wait for any dough to rise.  You can have these prepared (including sauce) start to finish in around 20 minutes.  I really do think these would make a perfect crust option if you're wanting to grill several pizzas with different toppings, as they're small and you can create a few pizza options without making a TON of food.  If you decide to serve these to guests, I'd suggest you allot 1-2 naan per person, depending on what sort of appetizers and/or sides you plan to serve them with.

I really loved the flavor and texture of the garlic naan crust and plan to keep these on hand (and homemade sauce in the freezer) all summer long for quick lunch and dinner options.

Grilled Naan Pizza

Trader Joe's Tandoori Garlic Naan (not the frozen kind)*
pizza sauce
freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
fresh basil, pepperoni, or other desired toppings

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat with lid closed.

Top each piece of naan with a couple heaping tablespoons of pizza sauce, approximately, 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, and any additional toppings that you desire.  Carefully place your prepared pizza(s) on the preheated grill, close the lid, and let cook for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bottom is lightly browned.  Remove from heat, slice, and serve.

*I have also seen naan in the bakery section of my local Walmart and other chain grocery stores (for those who don't have access to a Trader Joe's).

(Easy) Homemade Pizza Sauce
adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried fennel
pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until desire consistency is reached.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (I added a bit more garlic salt to mine and next time I may reduce the sugar to 1/2 teaspoon as I prefer my sauce more on the savory side).  Use immediately or store in the refrigerator (up to a week) or freezer (up to a month).

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