I love my new apartment…really I do. But sadly, as much as I have compared to the old apartment (windows, light, drawers…an apartment that doesn’t smell dank all the time), I would love to have a place to grill out. Enter my wonderful friends Carmen and Aster! I had been dying to try grilling pizzas and Carmen and Aster have a fabulous rooftop deck (I’ve brunched there before, remember?) – put two and two together and I was back in my old Shaw stomping grounds! And this time, I had dough!
Let me just start off by showing you Carmen and Aster’s beautiful deck gardens:
Gorgeous, right? Who wouldn’t want to eat among these beautiful plants? They have mint, they have basil, they have parsley…and they share. Need I say more?
On Saturday evening, I headed over to Shaw with Brian and another friend who was kind enough to drive us all. Brian supplied his homemade Sangria (which was fan-freakin-tastic, mind you) and I brought along olive oil dough balls, fresh mozzarella from Blue Ridge Dairy, pepperoni from Red Apron Butchery, pesto and my homemade tomato sauce. I hadn’t been back to Shaw since moving to Columbia Heights and sadly, I hadn’t seen Carmen and Aster since than either. So I was giddy with joy to be back.
Carmen and Aster had a new gas grill but none of us had ever grilled pizza before. I will admit, I was a little nervous about tossing dough onto a grill. I was convinced the dough would ooze through the breaks in the grill rack and we’d all be eating hot dogs. But alas, Carmen and I became quickly adept at the whole process. It turned out to be a great idea for a dinner party as everyone got to participate in each step of the pizza making process!
I put one of the guests to work rolling out the pizza dough (even though I had only just met him that night…and yes, that would be called being bossy…and this should surprise no one) while Carmen and I set up the table on the rooftop deck and got the grill going. Putting out the toppings first allowed the guests to make the pizzas while Carmen and I tended to the grill. And even better, guests brought some toppings as well!
After the dough was rolled out, we tossed it straight onto the grill (okay tossed isn’t really the right word…Carmen and I lovingly placed it on the grill – we were scared out of our gourds it would melt). We let it grill on one side until bubbles started forming on the top and the bottom became more solid. We then flipped it over to grill for only a short little time (I’d say about 15-30 seconds…it wasn’t really an exact science…especially once the Sangria began to flow).
Once it was grilled for a short time on both sides, we quickly took it off and guests began dressing the less grilled side of the pizza.
Once the pizza was topped, Carmen and I placed it back on the grill to allow the toppings to meld together and the dough to finish cooking.
Carmen and I got a system going with grilling the pizzas and before you know it, we had well over 5 pizzas grilled and on the table. Guests began eating as the pizzas were taken off the grill, so a new pizza was always available to them.
Seriously, this is a fantastic Summer dinner party idea. As the guests were topping the pizzas (and very creatively might I add), it gave them a chance to talk and get to know each other. I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful (and newly married) couple, Steve and Joe – and I found out we were neighbors! And I also got to catch up with my friends Gene and Jim…who were also JUST married earlier that week! To celebrate these two joyous occasions, Carmen got the fabulous idea of getting mini wedding cakes for the happy couples! And tiaras…that lit up!!!!
It was a wonderful evening and a beautifully mild Summer night. Usually by mid July in DC, the humidity’s so high my hair becomes a permanent Brillo pad. But we’ve been fairly lucky so far and have had a mild Summer…and this night was no exception. So we ate under a brilliant sky (hop over to Brian’s blog to see a picture of it…I was a bit distracted) and enjoyed a light breeze on the deck. And I thought to myself…damnit, I need to get a freakin’ rooftop deck!Print This Recipe