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Grilled Corn, Asparagus and Brie Pizza


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Basic Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

2 tbsp honey

3 cups flour (I use 2 cups white, 1 cup whole wheat flour)

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Grilled Corn, Asparagus and Brie Pizza

2 ears corn, husks removed

12 asparagus spears, woody ends discarded

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

Salt to taste

1/4 cup cornmeal, for rolling the dough

1 ball pizza dough, at room temperature (store bought or homemade)

1 cup basil pesto (store bought or homemade)

12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 4 strips each

6 oz. brie, rind removed if preferred, cut into 1/4-in. thick strips, then 1-in. squares

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper


Basic Pizza Dough

In a large bowl, stir the yeast and honey into the warm water; set aside for 5 minutes, until it’s foamy. (If it doesn’t get foamy, either your water was too hot and it killed the yeast or it was inactive to begin with – toss it and buy fresh yeast or try again!)

Add the flour, salt and oil and stir until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 8 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.

If you’re using a mixer, fit it with a dough hook and mix it on low until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. With either method you may need to add a little more flour. Your dough will be elastically smooth, but not really sticky. Pour a small amount of olive oil into your palm, pick up the dough ball and coat it lightly, and then place it back into the bowl and allow it to rise for about an hour.

Note: I often make my dough a day or two ahead of time. Just mix it together and put it into an air tight container in the fridge. Take it out, remove the lid and leave it on the counter for an hour. It will rise nicely. It actually creates a nicer texture when the gluten has time to develop slowly.  You can leave it in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Punch it down when you’re ready to put it onto your pizza peel. If you’re not using all of the dough, you can freeze the remainder until the next time the pizza craving hits.

Makes enough for 2-3 large pizzas.

Grilled Corn, Asparagus and Brie Pizza

Remove dough from refrigerator and let it rise to room temperature. Preheat your gas grill with all burners on medium high.

Brush corn and asparagus with 2 tbsp of oil and season with salt. Place the corn directly on the cooking grate over the heat and grill, turning occasionally until they begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool. To remove kernels, here’s an easy trick I’ve learnt. To keep corn from bouncing all over your kitchen, place a bowl on the counter, and stand the corn cob upright.  Holding the cob steady, use a sharp knife and make long downward strokes on the cob, separating the kernels from the cob. This way the corn kernels fall into the bowl rather than all over the floor!

Grill the asparagus on the stone, only until slightly soft. Cut asparagus tips off, then the remaining stalks into 1/4-in. pieces. Mix corn kernels, asparagus pieces and sun-dried tomatoes together.

Sprinkle your work surface with flour or cornmeal. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough and brush both sides with oil. Your stone should be very hot by this point. If your grill has an outside thermometer, the temperature should read about 400 degrees. To get the pizza dough from the kitchen to the grill, I use a pizza peel, or the underside of a large cookie sheet. Brush with oil, and sprinkle liberally with cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking.

Once you’re at the grill, pick up dough by the two corners closest to you, and lay down flat on lava stone from back to front, like a tablecloth. Close lid and cook for about 3 minutes, until bottom is golden brown. Flip crust to reveal grilled side. Spread entire surface with pesto. Sprinkle with corn, asparagus and tomatoes. Top with cheese.

Close lid and let heat circulate until bottom is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove pizza from the grill. Season with red pepper, salt and black pepper. Slice, serve, & enjoy!

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