I’m thrilled to bring you this end-of-summer, farmer’s market friendly Grilled Flatbread with sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, basil, and melty cheese in partnership with Cabot Creamery Cooperative, makers of my favourite cheeses.
It is a grilled flatbread? Is it a pizza? Is it a grilled flatbread pizza?
It’s down to semantics, really, but if it is just grilled bread, some consider it grilled flatbread, and if it is topped, a grilled flatbread pizza. As for me, whether it’s topped or not, it’s grilled flatbread because it’s more the technique that defines it for me.
What grill do I need to use as a flatbread grill?
Obviously a grill is a natural choice to grill flatbread, but don’t worry if you don’t have a grill; you have options! First though, if you do have a grill, you’ll be heating it to high, direct heat.
On a charcoal grill, that means you’ll be cooking directly over hot coals. Likewise, on a propane grill you’ll use high, direct heat. For a Traegar, set it at the highest temperature your dial will allow.
You can use any grill pan that can be heated over medium-high heat. If you opt for a grill pan, this one is an excellent choice. Please remember that most non-stick grill pans are not meant to be used over high heat.
What kind of dough should I use when making grilled flatbreads?
I’m happy to tell you that you can make the most delicious grilled flatbread with pizza dough you purchase at your local grocery store or favourite pizzeria. When you use purchased dough, it makes your grilled flatbread something that can be done and on your table faster than dialing for takeout.
You can choose fresh or frozen dough. Either will do the job fine.
If you’re using refrigerated dough, just leave it out -loosely covered- for about thirty minutes to an hour before cooking to come to room temperature; the dough will be ready when it is the temperature of your kitchen and feels easy to stretch.
This should be about as long as it takes to pre-cook any ingredients you need to (see below for notes about pre-cooking certain toppings) and preheat your grill or grill pan.
If you opt for frozen dough, please thaw it according to package instructions, then let it rest on the counter as instructed above.
Whether you choose purchased fresh or frozen dough, or go with homemade, you’ll want to use the same method to prepare it and cook it; divide the dough and gently stretch it into an oval shape by hand. Continue stretching until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick.
When you have stretched all of the pieces of dough, brush them with garlic or plain olive oil and put them on your pre-heated grill or grill pan, oil side down. Cover the grill -or pan- and cook for 2 minutes.
Open the grill -or pan- brush the dough with oil again, slide a flexible spatula like a fish spatula under the dough, and gently flip the dough. This is when you top it.
What toppings do I put on grilled flatbread pizza?
The sky is the limit when it comes to topping grilled flatbread. The real key is not to overload it in order to avoid grill-to-plate collapses.
Since we partially pre-cook the bread component before adding toppings, we want to be sure anything like meat is fully pre-cooked and just needs to be warmed through.
I usually try to choose meats or proteins that are flavourful enough to impart big taste impact without having to use large quantities. Great choices include pre-cooked sausage, bacon, chicken, or shrimp, or cured meats like prosciutto, salami, Spanish chorizo,
Likewise, vegetables need to be cooked or intended to be raw but warmed through. Some excellent options are caramelized onions, seared mushrooms, halved or quartered cherry tomatoes or slices of fresh tomatoes, dollops of pizza sauce, finely minced fresh garlic, paper thin slices of raw onion, and herbs.
For today’s flatbread, I harness the deliciousness of fresh corn and halved or quartered small tomatoes. It tastes like happiness and sunshine!
You can do as I did here, and slice fresh corn right from the cob, but you also have options. Leftover sweet corn (whether grilled, roasted, or boiled) can be sliced from the cob, or you can use frozen corn that’s been thawed or canned corn that has been drained.
Today’s Grilled Flatbread is a perfect vehicle for using up any leftover corn you have on hand but is also delicious when made with frozen corn that has been thawed or canned corn that has been drained. I’m partial to using fresh sweet corn when it is in season because it is a fleeting moment in the year and I love to get as much of it eaten as I can. That said, it’s still delicious year ’round made with the thawed corn or canned corn.
When it comes to cheese choices, my first choice for grilled flatbreads is always Cabot 5-Cheese Italian Shredded Cheese Blend; it’s a smooth melting, fresh, flavour-packed blend of mozzarella, provolone, asiago, cheddar, and romano that is conveniently pre-shredded.
Looking for more goodies to make with your abundance of sweet corn? Try this Zesty Corn Relish, Hot Corn Dip, Roasted Corn Potato Chowder, Slow Cooker Spicy Bacon Corn Dip, and Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad! You can also check out this great post on The Many Uses of Corn!
-Close the lid of the grill or cover the grill pan and let it cook for 2 minutes. Open the grill, slide a fish spatula or other flexible spatula under the crust and rotate 90°. Close the grill or cover the grill pan again and cook for 1 minute or until the dough is lightly browning underneath and bubbly on top.
Immediately top with the cheese, tomatoes, and corn. Close the grill or cover the grill pan and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the entire pizza is hot.
-Remove the pizza using the fish spatula or a peel to slide it onto a cutting board. Garnish each grilled flatbread with torn basil leaf, slice into wedges, and enjoy!
- 1 (1 pounball of pizza dough
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or garlic olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup quartered or halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 cup Cabot 5-Cheese Italian Shredded Blend
- 1/2 cup corn kernels fresh from the cob or thawed from frozen, or drained from a can
- 4 large fresh basil leaves
- Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Make sure your toppings are ready to go. Once the grill is hot, use tongs to rub a paper towel soaked with 1 tablespoon of oil on over the grates of the grill.
- On a baking mat or lightly floured surface, divide your dough into four equal pieces, gently hand stretch or use a rolling pin to roll each piece into a 1/4-inch thick oval or oblong shape. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes then stretch it back if it has shrunk at all. Carefully transfer to a peel or to an upside down half sheet pan.
- Brush the surface of the dough with half of the oil. You can either carefully invert the pan/peel over the grill or use your hands to transfer it, oil side down.
Close the lid of the grill or cover the grill pan and let it cook for 2 minutes. Open the grill, slide a fish spatula or other flexible spatula under the crust and rotate 90°. Close the grill or cover the grill pan again and cook for 1 minute or until the dough is lightly browning underneath and bubbly on top.
- Open the grill and brush the dough with the remaining oil, then slide the spatula under the dough and flip it carefully.
Immediately top with the cheese, tomatoes, and corn. Close the grill or cover the grill pan and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the entire pizza is hot. Remove the pizza using the fish spatula or a peel to slide it onto a cutting board. Garnish each grilled flatbread with torn basil leaf, slice into wedges, and enjoy!