Grilled Yellow Squash Pizza with Fresh Thyme

Adapted from Gourmet (July 2006)

To me, pizza seems like a winter food. Or a kid’s birthday party food. Or an I-don’t-feel-like-cooking-let’s-just-pick-up-the-phone food. But pizza on the grill sounds so carefree and summery. I had never tried it until recently and I think it could become a regular habit.

  • One recipe whole wheat pizza dough
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Yellow corn meal
  • 2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Sea salt
  • Heat the grill to medium indirect. The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the grill temperature right, so do this step early on and watch it closely. The grill should reach a temperature of 350 to 400 degrees. If your grill has one of those nifty outside gauges, watch it carefully to be sure it’s at the right level (and not too high) before you put your pizza on the grill.
  • Place the chopped garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil and allow it to sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Break the dough into two even balls. Lightly drizzle two baking sheets with olive oil, then rub all over to cover the entire surface. Dust each with corn meal, then work the dough into an even thickness so that it spreads over most of the baking sheet.
  • Brush the oil liberally over the surface of each crust. Arrange the yellow squash rounds in an overlapping pattern over the entire surface of the crust. Place the mozzarella over the top, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. If there is any remaining oil, drizzle it over the top of the pizza.
  • Place the pizza (on the baking sheet) on the grill and close the cover. Don’t stray too far. You should begin checking after about 8 minutes. See if the crust is beginning to cook. The cheese will be melting a bit and it will be done as soon as the crust is fully baked. My pizzas took about 10 to 12 minutes in total.
  • Remove the pizza from the grill. Sprinkle it lightly with sea salt. Place the thyme leaves between clean palms, then rub them together vigorously to allow the thyme to release its flavor. Sprinkle the thyme over the pizza and serve immediately.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. The kids took one look at my pretty vegetable design and promptly turned up their noses. In truth, so did the husband. Luckily, I’d made enough dough for two pizzas, so we had one with yellow squash and the other with traditional pizza sauce and toppings. Everyone was a sport and tried a bit of each.
  • 2. Wouldn’t it be pretty to alternate zucchini here? I think it would. If I had had any, I would have tried it and what a lovely picture I could have had for you. Next time.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

4 responses to “Grilled Yellow Squash Pizza with Fresh Thyme”

  1. Audrey says:

    I tried this on a charcoal grill and it was pretty catastrophic… Crust burned on the bottom, raw under the zucchini (I used zucchini). I tried it much thinner on a cookie sheet with only a tiny bit of tomato sauce and cheese and was a little more successful. Next time I would try several things differently:
    – like the Cook’s Illustrated grilled pizza recipe, grill the crust very lightly on one side by itself, then remove it, put the toppings on the grilled part, and put it back on less-cooked side down
    – make 4 pizzas instead of 2 so they’re easier to handle
    – salt the raw squash or zucchini for 15 minutes or so to drain out the moisture, or cook it first

    I’m sure it’s much more successful on a gas grill, and I’m up for trying it again on charcoal just because it’s so lovely and healthy!

    • Alicia says:

      Oh no! I’m sorry this didn’t work out so well on a charcoal grill. That’s the tricky thing about writing recipes here using a gas grill – I really don’t know if they’ll work on a charcoal grill and if so, how they need to be modified. Thank you for your tips! I really appreciate you taking the time to help other Weekly Greens readers learn from your experience. I do hope you have better luck next time.

  2. Kathryn says:

    I made this tonight and it was SO good – no leftovers to be found! A few things I added to the recipe if I may:
    – As it was raining, I made the pizza in a conventional gas oven using Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough, cooked according to the directions on the package. I would love to try the grill as well, but this baked wonderfully.
    – I used about half the suggested amount of olive oil so that the finished product wouldn’t be too oily.
    – As the other comment suggested, I salted the squash prior to baking in order to remove excess liquid. If you go this route, skip the sea salt sprinkle at the end. Even with rinsing, the squash retained the flavor nicely and I felt as though the end result was a tad bit too salty with the post-bake addition.
    – I also added one large shallot, minced and 4 basil leaves, chopped prior to baking.

    The end result was amazing, thank you for such a great recipe and I shall definitely be making this one again!

    • Alicia says:

      These are all great tips! Since the weather has turned cool again, my grill isn’t working overtime anymore. Good to know it baked up as it should in a conventional oven. Maybe I’ll try this with one of the seasonal squash varieties now in the markets…thanks for your comment!

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