Shaved Fennel, Beet, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Sometimes I don’t know how I come up with these things. Its no secret that homemade pizza is one of my go-to menu items. Lately it has been a staple on the Saturday night menu…and, honestly, I don’t mind a bit. Since overcoming my fear of making homemade pizza dough (why I was so intimidated I will probably never know), I find any and every excuse to make pizza. What I love about the homemade version is turning basics (flour, water, yeast) into something incredibly impressive and delicious. Making something out of “nothing” feeds my creative side.

This recipe brings you not only one twist on pizza, but TWO. The ingredients are incredibly unique; I don’t believe anyone else in my neighborhood ate pizza with fennel and beets last night. But, they should try it….its super yummy! Twist number two: pizza. cooked. on. the. grill. Mind blown? Mine too! The combination of a pizza stone and the heat from the grill produces perfectly golden and crisp pizza crust that I have only experienced at one of those wood-fire pizza restaurants. And now I can have it at home *happy dance*!

The inspiration for this recipe came at the perfect time. Over the past week or so I have felt a little discouraged in the kitchen. Dinner felt more like an obligation than a joy and I found myself easily frustrated when dishes didn’t turn out as expected (hence the two recipes that did not appear on the blog this past week leaving a silence in the posting department). I didn’t even begin photographing this recipe until the pizza was ready to go on the grill due to the lingering negativity; oops! You’ll be happy to know that my sense of accomplishment and motivation is back and I have several new recipe ideas in the works!

Ingredients

  • 1 ball pizza dough (store bought or homemade)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch dried oregano
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 bulb fennel, shaved on a mandoline (or is it mandolin? Google apparently doesn’t know either)
  • 4 small (or two large) red beets, shaved on mandoline
  • 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 c. pistachios
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley

Preheat the grill on low heat for 10 minutes, with the lid closed, while you make the pizza. We have a three burner grill and turned all three burners to LOW to help produce the crispy crust.

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Roll out the pizza dough to the size of the stone. Spray with nonstick spray (this helps with the crisping process too) and transfer dough to the pizza stone. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with red pepper flakes and dried oregano. Distribute shredded mozzarella evenly, leaving a 1 inch border for the crust. Arrange the shaved fennel in an even layer. Top with the beets and crumbled goat cheese. Tip: if you don’t have a mandoline you can also very thinly slice the fennel and beets with a knife; the thinner the better to help them cook through on the grill.

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The pizza looks gorgeous already; is there anything more beautiful than the bright purply red color of fresh beets?

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Place the pizza stone on the grill and close the lid.

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Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes and then sprinkle the pistachios to help them toast. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the crust is completely cooked through, golden brown, and crisp.

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Remove pizza from the grill and sprinkle with minced parsley. Divide into slices and dig in!

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This pizza is my idea of perfect; earthy beets, creamy tangy goat cheese, and crunchy pistachios. And the crust! :) I hope this inspires you to experiment with pizza on the grill; they are a match made in heaven. Enjoy!

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