New summer fave: grilled pizza

Black Bean Nacho PizzaBlack Bean Nacho PizzaPizza parties are a tradition in my circle of friends. It's really a perfect party-we provide the dough (and whatever toppings we can't live without), then have our friends bring their favorite toppings. I roll out the dough and call people in to top the pizzas. It's amazing some of the combinations that become favorites. While grilling pizza might sound weird (won't the dough fall through the grates? No…), it's surprisingly simple. In just 6 easy steps, you too can have grilled pizza in no time!

A few favorite healthy recipes:

Break out the napkins! Black Bean Nacho Pizza is an over-the-top, vegetarian concoction with black-bean spread, Jack cheese, tomatoes, scallions, olives and pickled jalapenos; it's part nacho, part pizza. For an even more decadent treat, serve with low-fat sour cream.

Nectarine & Prosciutto Pizza was the hands-down favorite at my last pizza-on-the-grill party. Sweet stone fruit is balanced by salty blue cheese, pesto and prosciutto on this richly flavored pizza. Try it with a simple salad for supper or offer it as a tasty starter for your next barbecue.

Nectarine & Prosciutto PizzaNectarine & Prosciutto Pizza

Bell pepper, zucchini and a fresh tomato sauce give Garden Pizza a taste of summer.

Garden PizzaGarden Pizza

The more adventurous eaters in the group will love Lahmahjoon Pizza. Spiced ground lamb, feta and pine nuts top this Armenian-flavored pizza.

Lahmahjoon PizzaLahmahjoon Pizza

Or come up with your own unique flavor combinations. The whole-wheat dough we've developed is easy to work with-light and tender but also surprisingly sturdy. Here's the recipe:

Easy Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (105-115°F)
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1. Stir water, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl; let stand until the yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in whole-wheat flour, bread flour (or all-purpose flour) and cornmeal until the dough begins to come together.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, mix the dough in a food processor. Process until it forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.)
3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. (To make individual pizzas, see Variation.) Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Makes 4-6 servings (1 pound pizza dough)

Individual variation: The dough can be turned into 4 or 6 personal-size pizzas. After kneading, divide the dough into 4 or 6 equal balls. Brush with oil and place 3 inches apart on a baking sheet. Cover and set aside until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Roll each portion into a 6-to-8-inch circle.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 3, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Or tightly wrap the unrisen dough in oiled plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Let refrigerated (or previously frozen) dough stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

So gather the troops and fire up the grill! Perfect pizza will be ready in no time.

By Carolyn Malcoun

When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.

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