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Fire Up the Grilled Plum & Goat Cheese Pizza

plumpizzaAnyone can throw burgers and dogs on the barbecue and call it a (Memorial) Day.  But why not take your party to the next level this year by adding a few, flame-grilled pizzas to the holiday menu?  We’ve topped our charred rounds of dough with sweet grilled plums (you can use any sturdy fruit, like peaches or melons), peppery greens, and dollops of tangy goat cheese, but the sky’s the limit once you get the method down.  To serve, simply cut your pies into small squares for a tasty starter, or supplement with salad, grilled shrimp, or flame-broiled pork tenderloin as part of the main event! Happy, happy…

Grilled Plum Pizza with Greens and Goat Cheese
(Serves 4)

1 pound pizza dough, brought to room temperature
4 plums, sliced into wedges
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
8 ounces greens, such as watercress or mesclun
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Good quality balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare a hot charcoal fire, setting the grill rack 3 to 4 inches above the coals.  Grease rack with olive oil, using a heat-proof brush.  Divide dough into 4 balls, and stretch each ball by hand into a circle of desired thickness.  When the fire is hot (when you can hold your hand over the coals for 3 to 4 seconds at a distance of 5 inches),  use your fingertips to lift the dough gently by the 2 corners closest to you, and drape in onto the grill.  Catch the loose edge on the grill first and slide the remaining dough into place over the fire.  Within a minute the dough will puff slightly, the underside will stiffen, and grill marks will appear.

Using tongs, immediately flip the crust over, onto the coolest part of the grill.  Quickly brush the grilled surface with olive oil.  Place plums on the grill, and cook for about 3 minutes on each side (they should remain somewhat firm).  Remove crusts and plums from the grill. Divide dollops of goat cheese and plums equally on the four pizzas.  Top with greens, and drizzle each pizza with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

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