Succulent, toasty garlic butter coated, plump prawns scattered willy nilly over a slightly charred, garden-fresh parsley pistou smeared, cheesy homemade pizza crust. Oh mama!!! Summer grilling re-defined!
Contrary to popular musical lore there is, in fact, a cure to the summertime blues! Garlicky Shrimp Grilled Pizza!
Next you get to smear those hot from the grill crusts with a true taste of garden goodness. Easy peasy, make ahead (so the flavours get to be best friends) pistou made with fresh parsley, oodles of garlic, fruity extra virgin olive oil, a generous splash of fresh squeezed lime, a wallop of black pepper, finished off with sea salt.
What is pistou, you ask? Well pistou is a delicious French version of pesto, usually served chilled, and made without the addition of pine nuts.
Wikipedia tells us, "Traditionally, the ingredients of pistou are crushed and mixed together in a mortar and pestle (pistou means "pounded" in the Provençal language). The word "pistou" was introduced from Genoese dialect "pesto" after being brought into Provencce in the 19th century by Italian immigrants from Genoa and Ligury (30% of the Provençal population is of Italian origin)."
Next, over the pistou, grated, creamy, flavourful, whole milk mozzarella.
Good sizable, plump prawns that have been lightly sauteed with butter, olive oil, garlic and chili flakes and doused with fresh lime juice.
Now just a tad more grated mozz and back to the grill for about 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the whole shabang is irresistibly grilled to perfection.
Melty, cheesy decadence barely hiding a hedonistic feast from ocean and garden atop ridiculously thin, perfectly charred homemade bread. Oh my, well yes, when you put it that way, I think I will have just one more piece.
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And a big, special thank-you to Notions and Notations of a Novice cook for the inspiration to put together my version of a Shrimp Scampi Pizza.
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When the moon hits your eye
like a big pizza pie,
GARLICKY SHRIMP GRILLED PIZZA - Makes 2 large-ish pizzas
(with 1 pizza crust left-over for another time)
2 teaspoons breadmachine yeast
1 teaspoon traditional yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
Just about 1 1/4 cups warm water
5 tablespoons good quality olive oil
2 bunches, or 1 1/2 - 2 cups lightly packed with fresh parsley
4 plump garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 cups grated, whole milk mozzarella
1 1/2 pounds 16/20 count fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 plump garlic cloves, minced
pinch dried red chile flakes
Fresh squeezed lime juice
For crust: Set breadmaker to Dough cycle. Put all ingredients in breadmaker in order listed. Close the lid and let the cycle do it's thing. When done, remove dough from machine onto well floured surface. Cut into 3 equal pieces and let dough rest for 5 minutes. (Slip one dough piece into plastic bag, seal and refrigerate or freeze for another time.) Roll 1 piece of dough at a time, with rolling pin and more flour as needed, to get about a 12-inch round. Irregular shape is fine. Can be rolled ahead of time, and stacked on a baking sheet or pizza pan, between cornmeal sprinkled parchment paper, wrapped in saran and refrigerated. I usually do my crusts at least a couple of hours ahead of time, to keep last minute preparations easy peasy.
Parsley pistou: Can be made 1-2 days ahead. Blitz all ingredients in a food processor, really well, until smooth. Transfer to jar or covered container and store in refrigerator until ready to use. I usually make my pistou a day ahead and then bring to room temperature for about 1/2 hour before making pizzas.
Shrimp: In a large, non-stick skillet heat 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter, and pinch of dried red chile flakes, over medium high heat. Add about half the shrimp (do not crowd the pan) and saute about 1-2 per side, until shrimp are 'just' cooked. Do not overcook!! Transfer to bowl, and do the remaining shrimp. After shrimp have all been cooked add remaining butter and garlic to pan. Saute 1-2 minutes just until the garlic is lightly, toasty brown. Pour garlic butter over shrimp in bowl, add fresh squeezed lime juice and gently mix to evenly coat shrimp with all of this glorious flavor. Can be made 1-2 hours ahead.
When ready to make pizza. Preheat BBQ on high for 10 minutes or so. If you have a temperature gauge on your BBQ, you want to heat between 500F - 600F.
Gently, but purposefully plop each cornmeal sprinkled pizza crust directly onto grill. Close lid for only about 2 minutes. Open the grill, check underneath the dough to see if it is getting browned. If it needs a little more browning, rotate dough a bit, with tongs and leave another 60 to 90 seconds. The top of the dough, should boastfully puff up with air pockets (and pride). Flip dough over, so grilled side is now up, close lid, and cook the other side the same.
Have cutting board or baking sheet ready, at the BBQ, to transfer off cooked crusts. Reduce heat on BBQ to medium-ish. Take cooked crusts to the kitchen to layer on the flavour.
First smear each crust with 1/2 of the parsley pistou. Evenly sprinkle each pizza with about 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella. Randomly scatter 1/2 the shrimp over each pizza. Top the shrimp with remaining grated cheese.
Slide the pizzas carefully back onto the grill. Close lid and cook 2-3 minutes. Check pizza and rotate if necessary to cook evenly. Close lid and cook another 2-3 minutes or until heated through, bottom begins to char and cheese is beautifully melted. Transfer right onto cutting board and have at it. That is amore!