This is an unexpected pizza but one that will soon become a favorite. You need to grill the sliced sweet potatoes before making the pizza, since the pizza cooks only long enough to melt the cheese and warm the toppings.
Grilled Pizza with Sweet Potatoes, Pancetta and Gruyere
Serving Size – 2–4 people
2 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, diced (about ½ cup cooked)
1/4 cup uncooked grits or polenta [for rolling dough] 1 4-inch ball of prepared whole wheat dough, at room temperature
1/2 cup roasted homemade or store-bought garlic paste (see next page)
1 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese, about 8 ounces
1/4 cup assorted oil-cured olives, pitted
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only (or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Best quality olive oil
Grilling method: Combo/medium heat
Gas grill: preheat to high
Charcoal grill: build fire
For potatoes, brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Grill over indirect heat for about 20 minutes, or until well marked and cooked through but still firm enough to cut. You can also bake on a sheet pan at 350°F, turning once. Reserve for topping. Alternatively, you can bake the sweet potatoes until crisp tender and let cool. Slice into 1/8 rounds and reserve for topping.
For pancetta, fry in pan until crisp. Reserve for topping.
Sprinkle work surface with grits or polenta. Place dough directly in the middle of the work surface. Gently roll or stretch out dough into a 12-inch rectangle or circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Brush both sides generously with olive oil and set aside.
When ready to grill
Gas grill: reduce heat to medium
Charcoal grill: move all of the gray-ashed briquettes to one side
Pick up the dough by the two corners closest to you. In one motion, lay it down flat—directly over the heat source—onto the cooking grate from back to front. Immediately close lid and grill for 3 minutes (no peeking!), check crust, and if necessary, continue grilling until the bottom of the crust is well marked and nicely browned.
Use tongs to transfer crust from grill to peel and close lid. Flip crust to reveal grilled side. Spread entire surface with roasted garlic paste and sprinkle half the cheese overtop. Cover with potatoes, placing them edge-to-edge. Sprinkle with pancetta and remaining cheese. Artfully arrange olives and rosemary over top.
Gas grill: switch to indirect heat by turning off one burner
(for grills with 4 or more burners, turn off the 2 center burners)
Charcoal grill: no change to charcoal configuration
Set pizza back on cooking grate over the unlit section and grill until bottom is well browned and cheese is bubbly—about 7-10 minutes.
Remove from grill. Finish with a drizzle of good olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice and serve immediately.
Roasted Garlic Paste
Makes about 1/2 cup, enough for 1 pizza.
If you roast the garlic in advance and store it in it’s skin, microwave it for 1 minutes to heat it back up before making the paste
3 heads garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil + extra to drizzle over garlic
Preheat oven or grill to 400°F.
Remove first layer of papery skin from garlic. Slice off 1/4 inch from pointy top. Place each head on a sheet of aluminum foil, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Wrap each head in foil and roast, or grill indirectly for about 1 hour, or until cloves are golden-brown and soft. Remove and let cool.
Remove the roasted cloves from their skin. The most efficient way to do this is squeeze the whole head from the bottom. Using a fork, vigorously mix garlic and oil together. Add a pinch of salt.
This can be done up to two days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to make pizza.