Published Nov 9, 2008

Pizza’s great, and with all the great basil we got for our housewarming, a pizza with pesto replacing the marinara seemed obvious. The AIG also has this great, old, well-seasoned grill pan that we use for just about everything, so grilling the pizza sure sounded fun. Thus, super-adult, super-fun, grilled pesto flatbread!

It was almost sad to see the basil chopped into a fine paste by the Cuisinart — almost. Really, there’s nothing like a fresh pesto made with just olive oil, basil, pine nuts, garlic, and some pecorino or parmesan; but we wanted to get a little crazy with it. More specifically, we wanted to make it low-fat, so we halved the pine nuts and replaced them (useful for their emulsifying action) and most of the oil with roasted garlic. Try it by throwing in a head of roasted garlic before you drizzle in the olive oil for your next pesto! (Keep the raw garlic for the flavor, too.)

Thanks to our local Farmer’s Market, we had a bounty of lovely tomatoes to go with our basil.

We halved some fresh cherry tomatoes, sauteed up some red onions, and grilled some frozen artichoke hearts for toppings.

Then: flour out a board, and roll out your pizza dough. My choice: pre-made from Trader Joe’s.

Brush your dough with olive oil and put it that side down on the grill. Brush the other with the oil and turn the dough over when it’s started to get a little golden on the bottom. Spread on the pesto, and distribute the toppings (don’t count on melted cheese with this cooking method, so do like we did and crumble some feta or something like that).

The result: Delicious!


That looks fabulous…

I’m not sure I have a cast iron skillet. I really should get one. It’d likely work better than what I have for a variety of things; french toast, for one. (I still prefer doing eggs on my Calphalon One, which has the ease-of-cleanup of nonstick without the total inability to put a little brown on the eggs. Though cast iron might still work better for frittatas.)

We only have the cast-iron grill pan, actually. I used to have a cast-iron skillet and will get one soon; unfortunately, a former roommate ruined my old one (hint: don’t leave them soaking for weeks, they’ll rust).

One major advantage of cast iron is its cheapness — you can get a good-sized, pre-seasoned Lodge for something in the $30 range, which means that it’s easy to try and easy to justify using for just a few dishes.

Egg-wise, I find that scrambled had equivalent cleanup in cast iron and non-stick. Obviously I wouldn’t try making an omlet in cast iron! It’s great for meat, too; never tried it with fish, but I’d imagine Tuna would be a good match.

The grill pan itself is actually immense fun; it’s amazing how much having grill marks on your dinner adds.