Carnitas Pizza with Avocado Cilantro Sauce
Recipe - No. 36
The Summer We Drove to Tijuana
It was Senior year, TJ was a straight shot down the 5, and none of us had ever been. Without much thought, six of my closest friends and I piled into a minivan and set our sights for south of the border. I think all of us underestimated the eight hour drive.
By the time we hit Mexican soil, everyone was so hungry that we pulled off at the first sign of food. I think we actually smelled it first. A roadside food stand with a single grill outside this rickety old gasolinera. It had everything you’d expect: tacos, tamales, elote, empanadas. But also… pizza? I’ve always loved carnitas tacos, so I went for it. And I tell you… I’d drive eight hours for a slice of this carnitas pizza any day.
- 1 lb. carnitas, store-bought or homemade
- 8 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 ball pizza dough
- 1 cup salsa verde
- 2 cups grated mozzarella
- 2 tbsp. diced green onion
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cups loosely packed cilantro, stems removed
- 1 avocado
- 2 jalapeños
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 cloves garlic
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- Brush one side of your pie crust with olive oil to avoid stickage. Then use an extra large spatula to transfer to the grill, oil side down, either on your pizza stone or directly on grill grates.
- Remove pizza dough from fridge about an hour before grilling.
- For store-bought carnitas, follow heating instructions on packaging and set aside.
- For the avocado cilantro sauce, add halved jalapenos, cilantro, sour cream, garlic, lime juice, and salt to a food processor. With the motor running, add olive oil and apple cider vinegar in a slow stream until emulsified. Place in fridge to chill.
- Sprinkle some flour around your working surface before rolling out and stretching pizza dough to your desired size.
- Grab your pizza stone if you have one. It’s time to grill us a pie!
Set up your Nexgrill for medium, direct heat. About 425 degrees. If you’re using a ceramic pizza stone, place it on your grill while it's cool, and allow the stone to heat up with your grill. Do NOT place a cool pizza stone on a hot grill. The difference in temperature may cause the ceramic to crack or break. If you’re grilling without a pizza stone, make sure your grates are clean and well-oiled.
Brush one side of your pie crust with olive oil to avoid stickage. Then use an extra large spatula to transfer to the grill, oil side down, either on your pizza stone or directly on grill grates.
Close lid and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
Once your pie’s looking nice and golden brown on the bottom, remove to a plate and flip so the cooked side of your crust is facing up.
Spread salsa verde across the entire surface.
Add mozzarella cheese until all of life’s worries fade away.
Spread carnitas, chopped cilantro, tomatoes, green onion, leftover avocado, jalapeño, and any other toppings you want across the surface.
Transfer back to your grill for just 2-3 more minutes of cooking.
Once cheese is melty and bottom is golden brown, remove to a plate, drizzle with avocado cilantro sauce, slice, and serve up your carnitas pizza.