When the summer zenith approaches and fresh garden tomatoes are a plenty, I often reach for a vehicle to highlight them with which leads me to one of my favorite yeast concoctions, Naan. Naan finds its roots buried in the Persian area, though it’s many incarnations have globetrotted to Africa, Asia and the Americas; most people now associate it with Indian cuisine. Traditionally cooked in a Tandoor, which produces superheated temperatures (upwards of 900°F!) in a domed clay oven, it can be easily reproduced in the home kitchen with a standard oven to great effect.
I may one day tinker with a Naan recipe for the home cook, but until then, it can be purchased at most local grocery stores (I found the ones featured in the episode at my local Costco) where you typically find pita bread. It can be served both sweet (coconut milk dough with walnuts and raisins comes to mind) and savory (like this recipe), simply (heated and flavored with olive oil) or as a multi-topping pizza. It should stand in comparison to something as versatile as the all-purpose tortilla; it can be used as a taco, spit open and stuffed, a wrap, sliced into toast sticks, etc. Its usefulness is only limited by your imagination.
But the tangy tomato drove this rendition of Naan. In the episode, I chose to quickly pickle the tomatoes to give them added heat, spice and acidic bite but this step can be skipped to save time. I also mention that a protein would’ve elevated the pizza, smoked salmon, Canadian bacon and spicy sausage (Chorizo) comes to mind. Enjoy!
Grilled Naan Pizza - Naan bread is one of my favorite yeast concoctions to reach for when I want to have a vehicle to highlight all the summertime tomatoes. Pickling the tomatoes and adding hummus, basil, and balsamic vinegar only elevates this non-traditional "pizza". In this episode we discuss how to season a baking sheet, that you can pickle more than just a pickle and that every Firefighter has their favorite tool. Stay Hungry, My Friends!
Formats available: MPEG-4 Video (.m4v)
Naan Bread (6-8)
Hummus (1-2 Cups with the variety of your choosing)
Basil (10-12 leaves cut Chiffonade)
Pepper and Salt
Cherry Tomatoes (1 pint quartered)
Vinegar (½ Cup)
Vinegar (½ Cup)
Garlic (2-3 Cloves roughly chopped)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (½ tsp.)
Whole Peppercorns (12-15)
Basil (1-2 leaves cut Chiffonade)
Sugar (1 Tbs.)
Salt (a Pinch)
Salt (a Pinch)
*Re-sealable Plastic Container *(if pickling)
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Meanwhile, glaze the Naan with EVOO on both sides then season with Pepper and Salt. Place the Naan on the grill approximately 1 minute on one side (or until slightly crisped with noticeable grill marks). Add a spoonful of hummus (enough to cover the Naan with a thin layer), tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar to the charred side. Place the uncooked side of the pizza on the grill for another minute. Remove and sprinkle with additional pepper, salt and a high quality EVOO if available. Serve immediately.
Add the balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil, peppercorns, crushed red pepper flakes, sugar and salt and mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the tomatoes and cover with water. Mix till combined. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 10-15 minutes (recommend an hour) or for up to a week. Note that the longer you pickle, the stronger the flavor.