I've written before that my parents are pretty laid-back about traditions like Father's Day and Mother's Day (and most other holidays, for that matter). There is never any pressure to go out and fight crowds at a restaurant; a lunch cooked on the grill and perhaps a movie or a ballgame on TV is always enough. Earlier in the week I had given my mom several choices for a Mother's Day lunch. Pizza on the grill sounded great to her. Yesterday, Elizabeth and I went over to my parents' house in the morning, picked up a small shopping list, then headed down to Trader Joe's.
The first pizza I made was a prosciutto and arugula pizza. (I was first introduced to this combination at Gale's a few years ago and reminded of it Saturday when we had lunch there -but more on that tomorrow.) I topped a regular pizza crust with Trader Joe's pizza sauce and their Quatro Formaggio: Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina and Provolone.
The pizza stone on the grill was very hot by this point and the pizza cooked quickly, no more than a few minutes. It was very good. I sprinkled some balsamic vinegar on one of the pieces to give it some bite; it was tasty - I love vinegar - but did not really add anything to the slice.
The second pizza was mozzarella cheese, salami (that my parents had purchased at Whole Foods) and fresh basil from the garden. Instead of the regular pizza dough, this was done on "garlic herb" pizza dough. I have had that dough before but not on a pizza; usually I cut it into strips, rolls them, and bake them in the oven as breadsticks.
This was my favorite of the three pizzas. My dad thought the salami was too spicy, but then again, this was Mother's Day, so who cares? My mom loved it. I wish I had used more basil, but that's a small complaint.
My mom had requested a pizza of sausage and mushrooms. I had wanted to make it up to Taylor's in Sierra Madre on Saturday to get some of their Sweet Italian Sausage, but I had too much to do and wasn't able to (and Taylor's is closed on Sundays). So at Trader Joe's I got a package of "Hofbrau Brats." Before I started assembling and cooking the pizzas, I took the sausage out of the casing and cooked it in a pan, then sliced the mushrooms and added them for the last few minutes. I don't really like mushrooms, but when they're cooked in pork fat and beer they become slightly more tolerable (although I took most of the mushrooms off my slice and piled them on Elizabeth's).
We all enjoyed the pizzas and there were plenty of slices - more than a whole pie's worth - left over, which had been my intention. Last week I saw a box in my parents' trash can from a local pizza place that, while not bad, is nowhere near as tasty as the pizzas I made yesterday, and probably twice the calories. Leftover pizza is never a problem for anyone, right?