Quattro formaggi pizza with grilled corn and scallions
Potato salad with fennel
Lemon and cucumber cocktail
Pizza on the grill? You bet. Think about the best wood-fired pizzas you’ve had and you get the idea. After workingfor grilled pizza master Mario Batali in New York City, Jeremy Luers brought his pizza-making knowledge to Cincinnati last year via his O’Bryonville restaurant, Enoteca Emilia. Grilling pizza is easier than you think—and no, you won’t lose the dough through the grates. Luers says it involves nothing more than a gentle hand and pre-grilling the unadorned dough on both sides before topping it and giving it a final sear. Don’t overwork the dough trying to form it into a perfect circle. So what if it’s a little misshapen? That gives it rustic appeal and announces it’s handmade.
(yields six to eight 10-inch pizzas)
4 cups warm water (110 degrees, or warm to touch)
1 Tablespoon dry active yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
2 Tablespoons mild flavored honey
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
10–12 cups “00” flour (a finely milled soft grain flour; you can substitute all-purpose flour)
Mix water, yeast, sugar, and 2 teaspoons of flour. Set in warm spot for 10–15 minutes until foamy. In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook, mix the yeast mixture, olive oil, honey, and salt for 30 seconds. Add remaining flour and mix on low until combined. Turn speed to medium and mix until dough becomes elastic. (Squeeze it; it shouldn’t stick to your hand. Add a little more flour if it does.) Place in well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm spot. Once it doubles in size, punch it down, knead it for a few seconds, and cut into five-ounce portions. Roll each into a ball, place on a tray, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
To use, let dough sit at room temperature for 15–20 minutes. Heat grill to high. On a baking sheet drizzle 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Press the dough into an 8-inch circle, then place on oiled pan. Remove dough from pan and put directly over the flame or coals, oiled side down. Once top begins to bubble, check the bottom. When it has some good char (but not too much), brush top with a little oil, flip, and repeat.
Quattro Formaggi Pizza
3–4 ears fresh corn (approx. 1 cup grilled corn)
4 scallions, thinly sliced, green part only
2 balls fresh mozzarella (break into coin-size pieces)
6 ounces ricotta cheese (coin-size chunks)
4 ounces Fontal (Italian fontina; available at specialty cheese shops like Krause’s in Findlay Market)
A few ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano for grating
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Preheat grill to medium high. Rub corn with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on the grill. Once the corn starts to char, rotate it every few minutes for even char. When done, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 15 minutes. Uncover and cool. Cut kernels off cob. On pre-grilled dough, spread ricotta and mozzarella, cup corn, and a thin layer of fontina. Place pizza on indirect heat, close lid, and cook 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and the dough has crisped up. Remove from grill. Sprinkle with scallions, salt, and pepper. Grate Parmigiano evenly across, and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Farro Salad “Panzanella Style”
Farro is a nuttier, crunchier cousin to wheat, popular in Italy.
1 ½ cups farro (makes 3 cups when cooked
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Tablespoon salt
¾ cup English cucumber partially peeled & diced (Luers recommends leaving some peel on)
1 ½ cups diced tomato (Luers prefers heirloom varieties)
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
1–2 cloves of garlic, grated on a zester
½ cup packed basil leaves, hand torn
¼ cup celery heart leaves (optional)
1/3 cup sherry vinegar (can substitute red wine or balsamic)
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place farro in a small pot. Cover with cold water by about an inch. Add bay leaves, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer. Make sure water does not drop below the farro. Cook to al dente—a little chewy and starting to burst open. Once cooked, strain and lay out in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Chill. While the farro cools, prepare herbs and vegetables. Lightly salt cucumbers and tomatoes. Place them in a strainer above a bowl. Let sit for 15–30 minutes. Discard liquid. Place farro in a bowl and break up with a spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed (Luers prefers his slightly more acidic).
Potato Fennel Salad
2 pounds fingerling potatoes
2 large or 3 small fennel bulbs, shaved thinly on mandolin (pick and reserve some of the fronds)
4 ounces baby arugula
½ cup grilled lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place potatoes whole in a pot and cover with cold water. Add about a Tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil, and cook until fork tender, approximately 15–20 minutes. Do not over-cook. (The potatoes should have some texture.) Once cooked, strain and place potatoes on a baking sheet and refrigerate until completely cool. Slice in half-inch rounds and place in a bowl. Add shaved fennel. Dress potatoes and fennel with half of the vinaigrette and marinate for 15–30 minutes. Just before serving, add baby arugula, the remaining vinaigrette, salt, and pepper. Lightly toss by hand. Check for seasoning and serve immediately.
Grilled Lemon Vinaigrette
10 lemons (which will yield 3/4 cup juice)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup drained capers
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) anchovies (packed in oil)
2 teaspoons grated garlic (on zester)
1 Tablespoon minced shallot
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Halve lemons. Grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside until cool enough to handle. Juice them, straining seeds. Place all ingredients except oils in a blender and blend until smooth. Slowly add oils with blender running until all oil is added. Check seasoning. (You can also do this using an immersion blender.)
Lemon-Cucumber Cocktail (a.k.a. Grown Up “Creek Water”)
½ cup mint leaves
¼ cup cucumber (for muddling) plus slices for garnish
2 cups gin (Luers is a fan of Plymouth)
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cups cucumber-mint simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 cups soda water (can also use Italian sparkling water)
1 lemon thinly sliced (seeds removed) for garnish
In a large pitcher muddle mint and cucumber for a minute or so with 1 cup of the gin. Add remaining gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Chill. When ready to serve add soda water, lemon and cucumber garnish, and stir. Pour into eight glasses filled with ice.
Cucumber-Mint Simple Syrup
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
12 sprigs mint
1 cup seeded and finely diced cucumber
1 whole cardamom
Combine all in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool completely. Strain.
Part of this menu was originaly published in the July 2012 issue.
Photograph by Chris Smith
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