Photo: Marisa Westbrook

With long summer days coming to an end and fall just about to start, we mustn’t wish away the end of summer. With tomatoes at their peak, this grilled white pizza with heirloom tomatoes is a wonderful excuse for another leisurely backyard dinner with friends or family.

With a simple ricotta base and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese, this white pie is a delicious way to highlight summer tomatoes. The ricotta is flavored with fresh minced garlic, salt and Italian seasoning, and made spreadable by mixing in some olive oil. When topped with mozzarella, the result is a pizza that doesn’t feel overly indulgent but is still creamy, rich and dynamic with the fresh tomatoes.

Grilled pizza is extra special in comparison to the oven version at home, because the grill marks add an element of charred flavor while the middle of the dough still stays chewy and ever so slightly doughy. If you haven’t tried grilled pizza before, I recommend this recipe or your favorite tomato-based pizza — simply follow the same instructions below and substitute your favorite toppings that don’t need much time to cook.

For more seasonal meal ideas and grocery shopping inspiration, check out Uproot Kitchen’s monthly Seasonal Produce Lists.

Photo: Marisa Westbrook

Grilled White Pizza with Heirloom Tomatoes

Note: Cook time on grills vary. This recipe was tested on a gas grill. Be sure to monitor the pizza and reduce the temperature/size of the flame if the pizza is getting charred too quickly.

Prep time: 10 minutes, cook time: 10 minutes

Serves 2-4
1 ball of store-bought or homemade pizza dough
2 1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced finely
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and remove the pizza dough from the fridge. Allow the dough to rest 10 minutes at room temperature and knead in 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning.

Stir together ricotta cheese, olive oil, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, minced garlic and salt. Set aside.

Oil a baking sheet generously and spread the pizza dough into a large rectangle, filling the pan. Flip the dough over to get oil on the other side. Finally, carefully invert the baking pan a few inches overtop of the preheated grill so that the pizza dough releases from the pan. Adjust any parts of the dough that might have folded in on themselves with a pair of tongs.

Photo: Marisa Westbrook

Grill the crust for 3 to 5 minutes with the lid closed, until grill marks appear and it is easy to slide a metal spatula under the pizza. Use tongs and a spatula to assist you in flipping the pizza.

Spread the ricotta mixture on top of the cooked side of the pizza dough, and sprinkle mozzarella and halved cherry tomatoes on top. Close the grill and let the pizza continue cooking until the cheese is melted — an additional 2 to 4 minutes. The pizza should release easily from the grill grates once cooked.

Photo: Marisa Westbrook

Immediately top the pizza with red pepper flakes and fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil if desired before slicing into pieces and serving.

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Marisa Westbrook is a public health professional, recipe developer and food photographer. Visit her website, Uproot Kitchen, for simple and healthy recipes made with whole ingredients, kitchen DIY ideas...