Grilled Pizza Rustica with Pesto-simmered Turkey

Grilled Pizza Rustica with Pesto-simmered Turkey

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  • 2 cups warm water (90 to 105° F)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Basil pesto
  • 8 to 10 slices fresh mozzarella cheese per pizza
  • 1 cup cooked turkey simmered with a little stock and 2 tablespoons pesto per pizza
  • Roasted red and/or yellow peppers, cut into strips
  • Pitted Kalamata olives
  • Whole basil leaves
  • Pine nuts
  • Slivered fresh garlic
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit until yeast begins to proof by becoming foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and bread flour. Mix until flour is incorporated and then scrape dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With your hands, knead dough until smooth and elastic, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Shape dough into a ball and lightly oil the outside of it. Place dough in a bowl and let proof in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until dough doubles in bulk.

Cut dough into 4 pieces and shape into rounds. Dust dough lightly with flour and cover lightly with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at this point for up to 12 hours to hold, then bring to room temperature and proceed as follows.

With your fingertips, pat dough circles down and out into 4 circles. If dough becomes too elastic, stop and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes and then continue.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill until hot. It is helpful if you oil the grill first. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil and place 2 of the rounds on the grill. Grill until golden brown and turn over, 2 to 4 minutes.

Top the browned side of each pizza with pesto, mozzarella cheese and turkey. Arrange remaining ingredients over the top. Close the grill lid and allow pizza to cook until the underside is done. Slide onto a platter and cut into wedges.

Repeat with the other 2 dough rounds, or freeze for later use.

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