Humboldt Fog Grilled Pizza
This grilled pizza from Carla Lalli Music has it all: perfect crust, just the right amount of toppings, and ooey, gooey cheese bliss from our award-winning American original, Humboldt Fog goat cheese. Unlike the traditional mozzarella on pizza, Humboldt Fog delivers multiple dimensions in terms of flavor and texture. Because grilled pizzas are cooked quickly over direct heat, the cheese warms and softens without overcooking, which is when its texture and flavor is the most scrumptious. Once you are familiar with the technique, riff on toppings. Grilled figs and walnuts, pears and frisée, or anything you’d pair Humboldt Fog with on a cheese platter is a good place to start!
1 bunch (5.5 ounces) scallions, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt; freshly ground pepper
12 ounces Humboldt Fog cheese, fridge-cold
1 pound slab bacon
1 pound oyster, maitake, and/or beech mushrooms, trimmed
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained and pureed
1 recipe Droop-Free Dough for Grilled Pizza
Trim the scallion greens, then slice the dark green part of the greens into thin rounds. Transfer to a square baking dish or other wide, shallow vessel. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and the chile flakes. Season with salt and pepper and mix to coat scallion greens.
Trim the rind from the cheese (save it for snacking!). Slice the cheese into thin pieces, keeping layers intact (it’s okay if some fall into large crumbles). Transfer cheese to the scallion mixture as you go, arranging in a single layer. Gently turn the cheese to coat with marinade. Loosely cover and set aside for up to 4 hours at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Prep the other toppings: Place the remaining scallion whites on a small rimmed baking sheet or plate and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and turn to coat. Cut the bacon crosswise into ½-inch slices, then in half again to make lardons. Cut or tear the mushrooms into large clusters; set everything aside separately and cover loosely if grilling the same day, or place in airtight containers and refrigerate overnight.
For Grilling and Assembly
Prepare a grill for hot, direct heat. Put the lardons into a cold 8-inch cast iron skillet, then place it onto grill grates. When the fat starts to render and sizzle, cook the bacon, turning occasionally and moving the skillet to a cooler spot of grill if needed, until the fat has rendered and the lardons are crisp-chewy, 14 to 16 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a rimmed baking sheet or medium platter. Put the mushrooms into the same skillet and use tongs to coat the mushrooms with renderings. If there’s not enough bacon fat to evenly coat the mushrooms, supplement with a drizzle of olive oil (without ample fat, the mushrooms will char and dry out on the grill). Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the mushrooms to the grates and grill over direct heat until browned and tender, about 8 minutes. Place on baking sheet with the bacon. Grill the scallions over direct heat until copper-golden and floppy, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet with the bacon.
Get ahead: The toppings can be grilled a couple of hours before making the pizzas. Keep covered.
Replenish coals if needed for grilling the pizzas over indirect medium-high heat. Clean grill grates. On a lightly floured surface and using your fingertips, press down on one piece of Droop-Free Dough to flatten it and begin to shape it into a round (keep remaining dough balls covered). Drape dough over the backs of your hands and gently stretch, rotating often, until it is approximately 12” in diameter.
Brush dough with oil. Place, oiled side down, on grill over direct heat and cook until large bubbles appear across surface, dough stiffens, and underside is dark brown, about 2 minutes. Brush top with oil, turn over, and cook just to lightly dry out second side, about 30 seconds.
Using tongs and a metal spatula, gently slide dough over to the cooler side of grill. Spread ¼ cup pepper puree onto pizza, leaving a thin border around edge. Arrange ¼ of bacon, scallions, and mushrooms on top, scattering evenly. Carefully place ¼ of the marinated Humboldt Fog over, spacing evenly.
Carefully slide pizza back over direct heat. Cook until toppings are heated through and cheese has softened, about 2 minutes. If the dough is in danger of burning on underside, but the toppings need more time, return pizza to cooler side, cover grill, and cook another for another minute.
Transfer pizza to a cutting board and drizzle with more oil. Season with additional pepper and some flaky salt. Cut into wedges to serve.
Repeat with remaining dough and toppings to make 3 more pizzas.