Summer vegetables and fresh pizza dough both do great on the grill. Iris N.9 ties it all together with its pleasing crunch and bold flavors.
Iris N.9 – Recipe adapted from Pam Anderson, author of Cook Without a Book: Meatless Meals
Makes 4 entree or 8 appetizer servings
1 medium eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1-inch slices lengthwise
1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
1 yellow bell pepper – stemmed, seeded and cut in half
2 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1-inch slices lengthwise
12 garlic cloves, peeled and thickly sliced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Iris N.9 spice blend, plus extra for sprinkling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (1 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pound store-bought pizza dough
6 thin slices (about 6 ounces) provolone cheese, cut in half
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Heat your grill to 450°F, if using charcoal build a 2-zone fire. In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, onion, pepper, zucchini and garlic. Add the olive oil and half the Iris spice blend and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
2. Grill vegetables (use a cast iron skillet on the cool side for the garlic) on the hot side of the grill, 2-3 minutes (lid closed) per side. Slice the vegetables into 1 inch cubes and add to the skillet, and cook (lid closed) for 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the skillet with the garlic and cook (lid closed) until they release their juices and begin to soften (another 5-7 minutes). Remove the skillet and set aside. Heat the grill to 600°F if using gas.
Alternatively you can prepare the topping indoors as follows:
Start with all vegetables Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 425°. Place the baking sheet in the preheating oven and roast the vegetables until golden brown on the bottom, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, stir in the cherry tomatoes and continue roasting, stirring once more, until the tomatoes have started to release their juices, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove the ratatouille from the oven.
3. Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a dough scraper or a sharp knife, quarter the dough crosswise. Working with one portion at a time, stretch the dough into a 12-by-4-inch rectangle. Transfer to a oiled baking sheet or cutting board. Lay the dough on the grill (on the hot side if using charcoal) and brush the top with olive oil, cook for 3 minutes with the lid off, or 1-2 minutes with the lid on, make sure that the dough does not get too crispy yet, you’re looking to set it but not cook it completely. Flip the dough.
4. Quickly lay slices of provolone cheese over the dough and top each with 1 cup of the ratatouille (you will have 1 to 2 cups of ratatouille left for another use). Bake the pizzas with the lid closed until the crust is crisp and golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Use your nose, if they smell like they are cooking too fast remove the lid and move them to a cool part of the grill or turn down the heat. Remove the pizzas from the grill, let cool for a few minutes, sprinkle with the grated cheese and additional Iris and serve.