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Grilled Sweetpotato Pizza with Pancetta & Gruyere

Recipe by Elizabeth Karmel for the NCSPC
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  • 1 pound sweetpotatoes, unpeeled, baked and chilled
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, diced (about 1/2 cup cooked)
  • 1/4 cup uncooked grits or polenta, for rolling dough
  • 1 (4-incball prepared whole wheat dough, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic paste, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated gruyere cheese, divided (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup assorted oil-cured olives, pitted
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Gas grill: preheat to high heat
  • Charcoal grill: build fire
  • Slice sweetpotatoes in 1/4-inch rounds and set aside.
  • In a skillet, fry pancetta until crisp; set aside.
  • On a work surface, sprinkle grits or polenta. In the middle of the surface, gently roll out dough into a 12-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. With brush, generously spread remaining olive oil over both sides.
  • Gas grill: reduce heat to medium
  • Charcoal grill: move all gray-ashed briquettes to one side
  • With hands, pick up two corners of dough closest to you. In one motion, from back to front, lay it down flat onto the cooking grate directly over the heat source. Immediately close lid and grill until bottom of crust is marked and browned, about 3 minutes (no peeking!). With tongs, transfer crust from grill to work surface; close lid. Flip crust to reveal grilled side.
  • Spread entire surface with garlic paste; sprinkle with half of the cheese. Cover with sweetpotatoes, pancetta and remaining cheese. Artfully arrange olives and rosemary over top.
  • Gas grill: switch to indirect heat by turning off one burner (for grills with 4 or more burners, turn off the 2 center burners)
  • Charcoal grill: no change to charcoal configuration
  • Set pizza back on cooking grate over unlit section and grill until bottom is well browned and cheese is bubbly, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from grill, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice and serve immediately.
  • Roasted Garlic Paste: Preheat oven to 400° Remove first layer of papery skin from 3 heads of garlic; slice off 1/4-inch from the pointy top. On a sheet of aluminum foil, place each head of garlic cut side up; drizzle with olive oil; season with salt. Wrap each head in foil; roast in oven until cloves are golden-brown and soft, about 1 hour. Remove from heat and cool. Remove roasted cloves from their skin by squeezing the whole head from the bottom. Using a fork, vigorously mix together garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt. Yield: about 1/2 cup
Yield: 4 servings