We love dessert at our house, and in the summer dessert more often than not involves every type of berry imaginable! We eat so many berries I am often surprised that that our skin doesn’t turn blue or red to match the color of all those luscious berries that taste oh, so good. We love berries in every way, shape, and form. Sometimes it’s just a small dollop of fresh cream on a lovely bowl of strawberries. Sometimes we are in the mood for a nice blueberry cobbler or pie with a scoop of ice cream!
Recently we were having some friends over to grill out, and I was racking my brain trying to figure out what in the world I would serve for dessert. A bowl of berries just didn’t seem special enough. There was no way I was turning on the oven to bake anything (although I am pretty sure if I would have left a pan full of cake batter on the front step that hot, hot day, it would have cooked nicely). In waltzed my new favorite cooking buddy… Twitter. I have written about finding recipes on Twitter before, and this week isn’t any different. Not that long ago I started following @driscollsberry. I discovered they have all sorts of wonderful recipes on their website. I found a recipe for berry pizza, and it fit the bill. I could do all the prep before my guests arrived and cook an interesting dessert right on the grill!
The recipe is simple enough: berries and goat cheese on top of a grilled pizza dough crust, garnished with mint or basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The recipe on the Driscoll website also includes directions for making a quick food processor dough, so I decided to give it a try. The dough went together very simply in the food processor. The dough ingredients were just flour, olive oil, yeast, salt, sugar and water. One note: I used a fair amount less than the 2/3 cup of water called for, so be sure to add it slowly so you can tell exactly when the dough has pulled away from the sides of the processor bowl. Of course, if you add too much water your dough will be sticky and require a little fixing with some extra flour. I can certainly see myself using this quick dough for other recipes.
While my dough was resting, I washed the berries and left them to dry on a paper towel, crumbled the goat cheese, and chopped up the basil. After the dough had rested, I woke it up with a loud rooster crow and told it that it was time to get to work! It was easy to work with, despite the rude awaking, and I pressed it out on the back of a floured cookie sheet into a circular(-ish) 12 inches. After another brief rest it was ready for the grill. Be sure to let the dough rest before putting it on the grill; it will make it easier to handle.
I had my grill at a medium-high heat, and I oiled it well with a silicone baking brush. I think because my homemade pizza paddle substitute (aka the cookie sheet) didn’t quite have enough four on it, my dough lost a bit of its shape as I slid it onto the grill. So make sure your dough moves freely on the cookie sheet before attempting to put it on the grill. But no matter.
I think pizza, like life, is more interesting when it’s not perfectly round, don’t ya think? After cooking about 4 minutes, the dough seemed ready to be turned over. I was a little aggressive with the tongs and I ripped the dough slightly but it turned over like a dream and had a perfectly brown appearance. I scattered on the cheese and berries and, with the grill lid down, cooked it for another 5 minutes. Like the directions say, it is important to press the berries down a bit after you transfer it to the serving platter. I then added the basil and a few turns of freshly ground pepper, cut the pizza, and served. We all tried a couple of bites without the balsamic vinegar, then ate the rest of the pizza with the balsamic drizzled on top. We all agreed that the vinegar added a nice little zing to the pizza.
This is not a super sweet pizza. The flavor of the berries really comes through especially with the added touch of the vinegar and pepper. But this is a recipe you can easily change to suit your family’s tastes. A touch of honey, cream cheese instead of the goat, strawberries or raspberries. It’s a great recipe that will welcome your own personal touch.
Now for the moment of truth. How did it taste? This pizza was fantastic. It really felt like a dessert you would order at some trendy bistro while having dinner out with your best friend. One thing I will do next time is stretch the dough out a bit more so the crust is just a bit thinner, but I always prefer a thin crust pizza over thicker. This recipe was easy, different, and tasted amazing… everything I need to give the recipe a 5 pie rating!
As a side note, if you aren’t up to making your own pizza dough, I did try out the ready-made pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. It tasted great and was pretty easy to work with, but it was just a little more elastic than my homemade dough . The cost is only $1.47, and it would make this tasty recipe go together just a bit quicker. Be a little careful of the pizza dough that comes in a can, as it has a high salt content and tastes a bit chemical to me.