Summer is quickly coming to an end, but there are still a few more weekends to take advantage of outdoor grilling. Sure your neighbors might be satisfied with a classic combination of burgers and hot dogs. They even may be ok with a tub of potato salad mush from the grocery store. You, on the other hand, should opt for this sophisticated blend of fresh tomatoes and melted fresh mozzarella with the sweet and bold flavor of balsamic vinegar.
What I love most about this recipe is its versatility. It makes a fabulous appetizer, light lunch, or a wonderful vegetarian entrée. You can also turn it into a complete meal by topping it with fresh arugula and grilled chicken before drizzling with the reduction.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from this recipe was that cooking the dough on open grates requires a little practice. It’s all about the temperature of the grill and timing. There have been a few times when I tried to speed the process and ended up with a slab of charcoal. I definitely recommend testing it before making it for a party.
Grilled Caprese Pizza with Balsamic Reduction
1 (14 oz.) can pre-made pizza dough
2 tomatoes, sliced
6-8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
5-6 leaves fresh basil, minced
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper
Unroll the pizza dough onto a sheet pan. Lightly coat each side with olive oil and cut into four pieces. Set aside. Prepare all the ingredients on a platter and set aside.
To make the Balsamic Reduction: Bring the balsamic vinegar and sugar to a light boil in a small sauce pan. Allow to boil, while stirring constantly for 4-6 minutes, or until reduced in half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Preheat a grill over a medium high flame until grates are very hot. Hot grates are important to ensure the dough cooks quickly and doesn’t stick. Gently stretch each section of dough and carefully lay it across the grates. Cover and allow to cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Check halfway through to make sure they don’t burn. Flip using two tongs. Evenly distribute the tomato and mozzarella slices. Cover and allow to cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly melted. Remove from the flame and cut in half. Drizzle each slice with the balsamic reduction and sprinkle with minced basil. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 as entree. Serves 6 – 7 as side.
Authors Note: The cooking process happens very quickly. I recommend preparing all the ingredients before heating up the grill. It will make life so much easier for you. Also, boiling balsamic vinegar can produce a strong vinegar odor. But it is so worth it.