Summer Fest is in full swing and the theme for this week is corn, lovely sweet corn. To participate, read more about Summer Fest on Away To Garden from Margaret then come join the community! Catch up on last week’s theme on the bounty of Cukes N Zukes.
As a kid, I wasn’t particularly picky, but I had my likes and dislikes. We were lucky to grow up in a farming valley and during summertime there were the little farm stands filled with amazing freshly picked fruits and vegetables, not to mention ours and our neighbors’ gardens. There were tastes of perfect fruit sweetness and textures of faultless crops which I will never forget. Sugar snaps picked straight from the vine. Raspberries gently slid from their dangling vine tips, carefully picked amongst the thorns. Walla Walla sweet onions straight from gentle hills and valleys of Walla Walla. The sweet, chin dripping goodness of Hermiston watermelons, seeds spat as far as the lungs could push. And fresh corn snapped from its elephant-eye high perch.
The aromatic husks heaved back. The silks falling across the kernels just as a beautiful woman’s hair flows across her neck and down her shoulders. Such sweet, ripe corn doesn’t need cooking, or at least as little as possible. When we find summer corn like this nostalgia rushes back being a knee high troublemaker pushing his way through the corn stalks.
Corn like this is perfect for a summer bbq pizza. Made as either a highlight of the day’s grilling, or it can be the perfect pizza to make the day after, using up the leftover bbq chicken. Begin with a par-baked pizza crust, then add a little bbq sauce rubbed onto the crust. Take the edge charred chicken, slice it up and and toss with a little more sauce. Using sweet summertime onions, saute them with some garlic, then toss with the freshly shucked corn. Add a gentle layer of cheese, some fresh tomatoes (preferably Sun Golds because they are absolutely the best tomato ever!), a little fresh cracked pepper and heat just to char the crust and melt the cheese. Add some fresh basil then gather with friends and loved ones to soak in the summer’s evening.
If you have grill room, it is easy to par-bake the crusts at the same time the chicken cooks. Get a pizza stone or unglazed quarry tile, and place over the grill. Heat the grill to high heat, direct grilling. Stretch out the pizza dough as thin as possible using flour to keep it from sticking (not oil), flour or have a nice layer of corn meal on a pizza peel, and add place pizza dough on the peel. Give it a little shake to make sure it isn’t sticking to peel and slide onto heated stone.
Every once in a while rotate the pizza crust to make sure it is cooking evenly, then remove when it is starting to brown on the underside. Add the toppings and finish baking in grill with lid down or in the oven under the broiler.
The tomatoes should just be barely starting to soften, the corn sweet slightly charred and with a beautiful juicy and crisp texture. The edges of the crust will start to char and the cheese just begin to bubble. Fresh summertime nostalgia is born.
BBQ Chicken & Fresh Corn Pizza Recipe
Yield: 2 10" pizzas
Total Time: 15 minutes
If your corn is summertime fresh, it is best to use par-baked pizza crusts for this so that the corn and tomatoes are barely cooked and their flavors are at their brightest. Read post for how to par-bake pizza crusts on the grill.
- 2 10" par-baked Pizza Crusts
- @ 1c BBQ Sauce
- @ 2 lbs Grilled Chicken thighs, sliced into 1"x1/2" chunks
- 1 T Olive Oil (more if needed, depending on onions)
- 1 Lrg Sweet Onion, diced
- 4 cloves Garlic, crushed or minced
- 1 ear of fresh Corn, silked and shucked
- @ 1/2 lb fresh Cherry Tomatoes (preferably Sun Gold or Sweet 100 tomatoes) sliced in half
- 1 c Cheese of choice (we prefer a nice gouda, or an aged cheddar combined with a little feta or goat cheese)
- fresh basil to top
- fresh cracked pepper
- Add a gentle layer of bbq sauce on pizza crust. Toss chicken with remaining sauce and layer onto pizza crusts.
- Heat oil in saute pan over medium-low heat. Saute onions and garlic just until soft. In the meantime shuck corn into a med. sized bowl. After onions and garlic are soft, combine with corn kernels and toss.
- Add a layer of corn-onion mix on pizzas. Add a gentle layer of cheese on pizzas, making sure you don't suffocate the pizza under cheese. Add remaining corn-onion mix, sliced tomatoes and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
- Char on grill over high heat, using a pizza stone (close lid of grill while cooking) or char under broiler in oven until cheese starts to bubble and edges of pizza begin to char (only takes a couple minutes). Top with fresh basil, slice, gather and enjoy!
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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.
Summer Fest is back for its 3rd year! And we’re happy to be participating again thanks to Margaret Roachand Deb Puchalla, the creators of Summer Fest.