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Farewell to Summer With Outdoor Supper

Easy grilled pizza (the appetizer) and Cornish hens

Grilled Pizzas With Ricotta, Roasted Peppers and Olives

Serves 4 as a main course and up to 8 as an appetizer

1 cup part-skim ricotta, thinned with 2 tablespoons milk

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra leaves for garnish

Salt and ground black pepper

1 pound bag store-bought pizza dough

1 jar (12 ounces) fried peppers or roasted red peppers packed in oil, cut into thin strips

16 pitted kalamata olives, halved

4 ounces (about 1 cup) grated sharp provolone cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Turn all burners of a gas grill on high or build a medium-hot charcoal fire. Mix ricotta, milk, garlic, basil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper in a medium bowl; set aside.

Without punching or kneading dough (which makes stretching more difficult), turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a dough scraper or sharp knife, quarter dough crosswise. Working one at a time, stretch each portion into a rustic 12- by 3 1/2- to 4-inch rectangle; transfer to a large cornmeal-coated baking sheet.

Reduce grill heat to medium; lift stretched pieces of dough onto grill. Cover and cook until bottoms are spotty brown, moving them around to ensure even cooking and piercing puffing dough as necessary, 3 to 4 minutes. Return pizza crusts, grilled side up, to baking sheet, topping with a portion of each in the following order: ricotta mixture, peppers, olives, provolone. Return pizzas to grill; cover and continue to grill until pizza bottoms are spotty brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board; sprinkle with Parmesan, cut into pieces and serve.

Next: Recipe for Grilled Butterflied Cornish Game Hens. >>

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