Recipe: Grilled flatbreads with caramelized onions, sausage and cheese
Pizza is one of the easiest things to make. And you don’t have to be a pizza tosser to make great pizza or flatbread. Use a rolling pin to guide the dough to its proper shape and thickness. If you are pressed for time, pick up some pizza dough at your favourite pizza place. They will be happy to sell you the dough. Or pick some up at the market. Remember that 1 pound of dough will make two large pizzas or flatbreads. You can serve this recipe as an appetizer or as a main dish, depending upon what else is on the menu. Try out different combinations of ingredients to find your own signature dish. An outdoor grill with a lid is preferred for this dish. But you can also bake it in the oven.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 pound chicken or turkey Italian sausage (about 4 links), casing removed
- 1 recipe pizza dough or 1 pound fresh store-bought pizza dough
- 1-1/2 cups shredded Manchego cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup caramelized onions
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
The clever cook could:
- Add sautéed mushrooms to the flatbread or pizza.
- Substitute buffalo mozzarella or fresh goat cheese for the Manchego cheese.
- Make a vegetarian version with sliced tomatoes, grilled eggplant, Burrata cheese, and fresh thyme leaves.
- Make a sweet-and-savory version with caramelized onions, and blue cheese
1 In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and brown for 6 to 7 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula as it cooks. Once cooked through and broken up into crumbles, remove from the heat and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
2 Lightly flour two rimless baking sheets. Divide purchased pizza dough in half (if using). Working with dough half at a time, roll out on lightly floured surface to 12x8-inch oval or a 10-inch round. Transfer to baking sheets. Spray top of flatbreads with olive oil spray.
3 Heat the barbecue to medium-high heat. Make sure your barbecue has a lid and place all topping ingredients next to the grill.
4 Place the flatbreads on foil-lined baking sheets and spray each side with olive oil cooking spray. Transfer the flatbreads to the grill and grill for 11/2 to 2 minutes or until the dough begins to puff and light grill marks appear on the bottom.
5 Using a large spatula, flip over the flatbreads or pizza rounds and move them to the coolest part of the grill. Spread each one evenly with a quarter of the cheeses, and half the sausage, onions, and basil. Top with the remaining cheese. Move them back to the center of the grill and cover for 3 minutes. Check and rotate them. Cover the grill and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Watch carefully so they do not burn on the bottom. The cheese should be completely melted and the crust should be crisp and lightly charred. Remove from the grill and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting with a pizza wheel. Serve immediately.
Directions (for the oven):
1 Preheat the oven to 475°F. Place the crusts on perforated pizza pans. Poke the crust gently and evenly with a fork. Cook in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the crusts are lightly browned.
2 Remove from the oven and spread evenly with the toppings. Return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve immediately.
Pizza or flatbread alternatives
Pizza topping combinations are a really fun way to be creative because it is hard to go wrong. Here are some ideas for inspiration, but play around with different options to build your ultimate pizza.
- For a savoury white pizza, mozzarella and fresh goat cheese, sautéed leeks, sliced button mushrooms, and fresh thyme.
- Parmesan cheese and olive oil, topped with arugula and tomato salad with Parmesan shards.
- For a green pizza, basil pesto, mozzarella cheese, and spinach on top.
- For a Mexican-style pizza, red onion, roasted chiles, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, cilantro, and sliced avocado on top. Add seasoned ground beef or chorizo if you like.
- Sun-dried tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced chicken, and artichoke hearts. Grilled eggplant, tomato, Parmesan cheese, and thyme.
Excerpt from Seriously Simple Parties by Diane Rossen Worthington, Copyright 2012. Photography Copyright 2012 Yvonne Duivenvoorden. Excerpted by permission from Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.