Cooking Classes for the Home Chef

Grilled Mini Summer Pizza
Baby Spinach, Watermelon, Ricotta Salata and Herbed Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serves 6

4 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
1/2 of a small seedless watermelon, cut into small dice
5 French Breakfast radishes, rinsed, dried and sliced paper thin
2 sprigs fresh mint, leaves removed
1 cup ricotta salata, crumbled
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)

2-pounds store-bought pizza dough
Extra-virgin olive oil

Remove the skin from the watermelon, and cut into medium dice.

Place the prepared spinach into a salad bowl, top with watermelon, radishes, mint leaves and crumbled ricotta.  Gently mix in the vinaigrette, just to coat the greens.  Adjust seasonings with salt and freshly ground pepper if needed.  

Herbed Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons each: fresh thyme and oregano, finely chopped
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix together balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and herbs; slowly whisk in olive oil.  Adjust seasonings with more salt and pepper if needed.  Dressing can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface.  Divide into 4 quarters and shape into balls.  Press each ball into a about 4-5-inch round (dough doesn’t need to be perfectly round).  Place pizza dough onto a lightly floured baking pan, and brush olive oil on top.  

To prepare the grill, heat grill to high setting.  Using a pair of tongs, generously rub grates with oiled cloth or paper towel.  It is very important to place the pizza on well-greased grates to prevent the dough from sticking.

Place pizza dough oil side down on grill; dough will slightly puff up quickly.  Using the tines of a fork, lightly press all over pizza.  Before turning, lightly brush with olive oil.  Turn dough when slightly browned, about 3-5 minutes, depending on heat of grill.  Remove pizza from grill when lightly browned.  Repeat with remaining pizza rounds.  Place a mound of the salad on top of the grilled pizza and serve immediately.