Photo credit: Michelle Loy. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
Being married to an Alaskan, I am lucky to have family in Alaska. One of the perks of this lovely relationship is that they will send us home with some fabulous fresh Alaskan goodies, like wild salmon, wild halibut, or caribou. On our last visit, we were blessed with some caribou sausage. Unfortunately, I had no idea what to do with this sausage for a long time since I'm not a big sausage person. Every time I'd open our freezer, it'd remind me once again that I need to do something with it. Finally, it dawned on me...pizza! I joked with my husband that I was going Sarah Palin on dinner with the caribou sausage pizza. I decided to prepare a grilled California style pizza inspired by Ina Garten's Grilled California Pizzas. Alaska meets California. How about that? It's definitely not your typical pizza, but that's what I love about it. Feel free to tweak it as needed. Obviously not everyone has access to caribou sausage, so turkey sausage would be fine. This pizza would still be fantastic vegetarian-style, too. The goat cheese and basil really add so much flavor to this pizza. It's delicious and satisfying. Enjoy!
Grilled Veggie and Sausage Pizza
Whole wheat refrigerated or frozen pizza dough (I like Trader Joe's. If you'd like to make your own pizza dough, this recipe works well. Just follow the directions to sub whole wheat flour for white flour.)
2 tsp olive oil
3 cups arugula, cleaned and dried
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 small red onion, sliced
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3 ounces caribou or fresh turkey sausage, cooked
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 ounces goat cheese (I use chevre.)
4 ounces shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
1) Follow package directions for preparing the pizza dough, stretching into a 12-inch circle.
2) If using sausage, cook in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Drain and set aside.
3) Heat the grill on medium, and wait until it's hot. Carefully place the dough directly on the grill. Heat on this side for about 1-2 minutes or until it begins to brown. Using a large grill spatula, carefully turn the dough over and brush with the olive oil.
4) Add the toppings to the pizza. (I usually end with the mozzarella.) Close the lid on the grill and cook for about another 10 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese is melted.
5) Carefully remove to a pizza pan. Cut into 8 slices and serve.
Serves: 4 (2 slices each)
Calories: 316 Carbohydrate: 30 g Fat: 14 g Saturated fat: 5 g Protein: 20 g Cholesterol: 33 mg Fiber: 5 g Sugar: 2.7 g Sodium: 638 mg
Excellent source of: vitamin B6, C, A, and calcium
Good source of: riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, folate, iron, and zinc