photo courtesy of: Laura Ruszkowski
Leeks? Definitely an underused yet fantastic vegetable. Oniony but savory sweet when cooked and oh so good for you. We’ve used this Leek Saute recipe on crostini breads based on the original recipe and we loved it SO much, we thought- “next time we do pizzas we MUST try the leeks on it” So we started up the grill, made this simple dough recipe and as they say “boom” an incredible pizza was born. We’ve found that homemade pizzas are the best kind of pizzas, but the oven doesn’t get as hot as the grill- so ultimately grilling gives them this perfect crispy light chewy to-die-for-good texture, so don’t be afraid! We used our charcoal Weber 22″ grill and a 12″ pizza stone on top to cook these babies. Light your charcoal as usual and spread the coals evenly across the bottom, place the grill grate on top and then the stone. If you don’t have a pizza peel just use a large wooden cutting board with no ridges or grooves, it works just as well.
2/3 cup lukewarm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 T butter
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 3/4 to 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 T olive oil for oiling bag
1/4 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal for the peel
In a large bowl stir together 1/3 cup water, yeast, and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/3 cup water, 4 tablespoons butter, 1 3/4 cups flour and salt and blend until the mixture forms a dough. Knead dough on a floured surface, incorporating as much of remaining 1/4 cup flour, as necessary, to prevent dough from sticking, until smooth about 5 to 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball.
Lightly oil the sides and bottom of a large ziplock bag with oil, add the dough, turn to coat in the oil, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Gently punch the dough down and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch circle that is 1/8-inch thick. Brush off excess flour and transfer the dough to a baking sheet, cover each circle of dough with plastic wrap and continue stacking rolled out pieces on top of each other. Wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to grill.
Leek Saute for Pizzas with Blue Cheese
1 1/2 pounds leeks (about 3 big leeks), lengthwise and white and pale green parts sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 3 generous cups of slices)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (a soft or crumbly goat cheese would also work)
Fill a large bowl with cold water. Add leeks and use your hands to pump them up and down in the water a bit, separating the rings and letting the dirt and grit fall to the bottom. Transfer to a dish or plate for a minute; no need to dry them.
Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy skillet over medium. Once hot, add butter and olive oil and once they’re fully melted, add the leek slices, still wet. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook leeks for 25 minutes, stirring them occasionally. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Sprinkle corn meal on a pizza peel or flat cutting board ( to transfer on to hot grill) place a dough round on top and give it a little shake to make sure it’s mobile. Divide 1/2 of leeks mixture on pizza dough, sprinkle with cheese. Transfer on to a pizza stone in your hot grill and cook till crisp and golden, about 7-10 minutes. Enjoy hot