This is the pizza equivalent of stir-fry. If you’re unprepared, it’s a frazzling nightmare, but if you have everything prepped and ready before the dough hits the grates, it’s a satisfying, surprisingly simple experience. For the first grilled pizza of the season, tomatoes and poblano chiles felt like the right thing to do. Partly because I harvested my first basket of ripe backyard tomatoes this week, and partly because I had a few poblanos just starting to wrinkle in the fridge. Grilled and tossed with a little lime zest, the chiles lend a deep, smoky flavor to the pizza, as well as a texture that balances the tender tomato slices and crisp dough.
Grilled Poblano Pizza with Tomatoes and Jack Cheese
Makes one 12-inch pizza
- 2 or 3 poblano chiles, stemmed, halved lengthwise, and seeded
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 (14 to 16-ounce) ball Basic or Slow-Rise Pizza Dough (or pre-made pizza dough)
- 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded Jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat an outdoor grill on high. Assemble the following tools and keep them within arm’s reach from the grill: an oven mitt, long-handled tongs, a large spatula or pizza peel, and a large cutting board for the finished pizza.
To prep the toppings: Place the poblanos in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill them for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until they are soft and charred. Remove the poblanos from the grill, let them cool, and chop them roughly. Place the chopped chiles in a medium bowl and toss with the lime zest and salt and pepper to taste.
On a tray, assemble the following: 1 ramekin of olive oil, a pastry brush, the tomatoes, the poblanos, the cheese, and a small bowl of salt. Make sure you this tray is within reach when the dough goes on the grill.
To stretch out the dough: Place the dough on a floured cutting board and, using your hands, gently stretch it into a 12-inch square or disk, making sure that it retains the same thickness throughout (more or less). (Alternatively, you can roll it out to a 12-inch square or circle.)
To grill the pizza: Brush the dough with olive oil, making sure to get all the way to the edges. Carefully transfer the dough to the grill, oiled-side down, and grill for 3 minutes or until it puffs a bit and the bottom shows grill marks. Using long-handled tongs or a pizza peel, flip the dough. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Working quickly, scatter on the poblano mixture, arrange the tomatoes on top, and finish with the cheese. Close the grill lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Remove the pizza from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes, then garnish with the cilantro; slice and serve.