I know this is not a typical pre-Thanksgiving post – but it is around 4:00pm here, and it is almost dark. It has been raining for most of the day, and the forecast says rain for the next ten days. Secretly, this is my favorite time of year, when all you want to do is stay inside and bake – but sometimes you need to make something that just gets you into a different mindset – something fun that the entire family craves. Pizza.
My husband and I are pizza snobs. I became one when I started dating him, over 20 years ago. We spent a lot of time in New York City then, and pizza was affordable. Our favorite place to go with John’s Pizza on Bleecker Street. It is brick oven pizza. The crust is so thin that it gets completely crisp on the bottom – there is no soggy dough in this place. I love the toppings, and the fresh mozzarella cheese. In fact, we still try to go there every summer when we visit. Last summer my father convinced us to try a different place – it was August – it was hot – and it was more convenient for us to go to this new place than head all the way downtown to go to John’s. Even though this new place was better than any pizza we can find in Seattle – it was not John’s.
We have been talking for years about how we can recreate John’s pizza at home – but until we got the Big Green Egg, it was a fantasy. We put off pizza for quite a while – waiting for just the time – but the time had come. We had mastered so many other things on the Egg, it was time attempt pizza. At first I was all set to make my own dough – but we decided that if it was a big failure, that would just add salt to the wound – so I settled on using Trader Joe’s dough. If the pizza came out good using TJ’s, just imagine what it would be like with homemade dough. Well – we were jumping up and down – this pizza was the best we had ever made. The bottom was crispy and delicious, and the bubbles in the crust, just made us want to cry. It was the brick oven pizza we dreamed about. Now I just need to get a new pizza stone (mine wasn’t made to withstand temperatures as high as 600 degrees), and make my own dough – and people will start lining up in front of our house. Well – maybe if it stops raining.
- Pizza dough (I used Trader Joes)
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (not pre-shredded)
- Assorted Cherry Tomatoes
- Prosciutto, thinly sliced
Prepare your Big Green Egg by preheating it to around 600 degrees – with a place setter for indirect cooking. If you do not have an Egg, your pizza will not be as crisp on the bottom, but preheat your oven to 500 degrees. You must use a pizza stone for this, and it helps to have a holder and a wooden pizza peel as well. Place the pizza stone on top of the place setter, so it is nice and hot.
Roll your dough out to whatever size pizza you would like to make. We made 4 small pizzas with the dough. Lightly dust the pizza peel with cornmeal, and place the rolled dough circle on the peel. Take some olive oil and minced garlic, and put into a bowl. Brush your pizza dough with the olive oil garlic mixture. Slice some mozzarella cheese and place on top of the dough. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and sprinkle around. Do the same with some cut up prosciutto and fresh basil leaves.
Using the pizza peel, slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Cook for 5 minutes or until the dough is lightly brown and crisp. Repeat for the remaining dough disks.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes, Prosciutto and Basil