sausage, fig, & spinach pizza

Grilling pizza dough = best idea ever.  Actually, grilling anything seems to make it better.  I love that smoky flavor and those charred edges that you get when you prepare a meal on the grill.  Surprisingly, everyone in my family, even my picky dad and brother, loves this sausage and fig pizza so it has become a common summer dinner.

This recipe was inspired by one that I found in Food & Wine last summer.  My mom and I made quite a few changes to the original recipe and last night I think we really perfected it. Sorry for the lack of measurements, but really you can put as much or as little of each ingredient on your pizza as you want. Take away the sausage and it makes for a yummy vegetarian pizza too!

Ingredients

Fresh pizza dough, regular or whole wheat — we use 2 store-bought packages to make 4 large “personal” pizzas

Italian hot sausage — a 1 lb. package is more than enough for 4 pizzas

Shredded mozzerella cheese 

Red onion, sliced

Olive oil

Fig preserves

Fresh spinach

Fresh basil


Method

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Boil sausages for 15-20 minutes — I learned from my mom that this assures that the sausages are thoroughly cooked, they are not something you want to eat rare!  It also reduces fat content in the sausages. Meanwhile, prepare barbeque on medium-high heat. Grill sausages until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove sausages from grill, slice, and set aside.

Heat about 1 teaspoon olive oil (enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan) in a small saute pan.  Add onions and let cook until soft, stirring often.

On a well-floured board, roll out the pizza dough to your desired shape and thickness (we like our dough pretty thick, so we roll it out to about a half inch in thickness).  Brush top with olive oil.

Grill pizza dough (side brushed with olive oil down) until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Brush the other side with olive oil and turn over.

Top pizzas with cheese, sausage, and onions.  Cover and grill for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and bottom is golden brown.  Remove pizzas from grill and top with fig preserves, spinach, and basil.

Recipe inspired by Food & Wine’s Grilled Sausage and Fig Pizza

How I eat it: LOTS of cheese, light on the fig preserves, & with some freshly cracked pepper on top.

For some reason our pizzas always end up in this odd, oblong shape – but hey, it doesn’t change the taste!