Yesterday started off like any other except at breakfast Maggy announced our friend Brian Samuels of A Thought for Food was heading down from Boston for a visit. ETA: 11:00 a.m.
As a cook, my first thought was lunch. It was one of our first warm sunny spring days, and the grill on the back deck was calling. “Let’s grill pizza,” I suggested. Maggy’s eyebrows raised. “Now you’re talking!”
I had carrots in the bin, asparagus in the fridge, and green peas in the freezer. “Pizza Primavera,” I said. She and I spent the next few minutes back and forth on the rest—mozzarella or ricotta? Red onion, scallions or chives? Parm or no? We decided to keep it light but high-flavor, adding roasted garlic to our part-skim ricotta base and pairing a more assertive cheese with our mild spring vegetables.
Brian arrived, and we all got to work. He put together the ricotta base and Maggy prepped the vegetables while I worked on the crusts. We assembled the pizzas and got them on the grill, and they turned out as perfect as the day was beautiful. As food bloggers, we needed a little photo shoot, but after that we put our phones aside and just enjoyed one another and our pizza. Brian brought macarons—pistachio, tiramisu, and chocolate-coconut—and I set out strawberries with brown sugar, and Greek yogurt.
After lunch we headed out for a walk, and as I rounded the loop along the Long Island Sound, it felt like winter was finally gone.
- 1 recipe Pizza Dough (or 2 pounds fresh pizza dough)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 garlic cloves
- 1½ cups part-skim ricotta
- ¼ cup snipped chives, plus extra for garnish
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1½ cups each: thinly sliced small carrots and thin asparagus
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2 cups grated Comté cheese
- If making pizza dough, do it now.
- In the meantime, heat garlic cloves and oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Once garlic starts to sizzle, reduce heat to low and continue to cook, turning cloves once or twice, until soft and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from skillet and mash to a paste. Stir into ricotta along with ¼ cup of the chives; season to taste with salt and pepper
- Pour remaining garlic oil, ¼ cup of water and a sprinkling of salt in a large skillet; add carrots and asparagus; cover, turn burner on high, and cook until water evaporates and vegetables are tender crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Turn all burners of a gas grill on high. Without punching or kneading dough (which makes stretching more difficult), turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a dough scraper or sharp knife, cut dough into 4 pieces. Working one at a time, stretch each portion into a rustic 15- by 5 to 6-inch rectangle; transfer to one of 2 large cornmeal-coated baking sheet.
- Lift stretched pieces of dough onto grill. Cover and cook until bottoms are spotty brown, moving them around to ensure even cooking and piercing puffing dough as necessary, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them over and continue to bake until lightly brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove pizza crusts from grill and reduce grill heat to low heat.
- With pizza crusts darker side up, top in the following order: ricotta mixture, carrots and asparagus, peas, and comté. Return pizzas to grill; cover and continue to grill until pizza bottoms are spotty brown and cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board; garnish with more chives, cut and serve.