An "artisan" raclette pizza with cheese, tomato slices, and fresh basil
Once you've mastered melting cheese and pouring it over potatoes and bread with the help of your raclette grill, it won’t take you long before you realize that you have the perfect appliance for cooking the perfect dinner right on your tabletop: raclette pizza.
Making pizza in the raclette grill is even easier than making a pizza in the oven, and because everyone can make their own pizzas, everyone can make a pizza with their favorite toppings. All you have to do is heat up the raclette grill, set out your ingredients, and enjoy a leisurely meal of creating, cooking, and eating your personal pizzas.
While I was inspired by the flatbread pizza recipe in the ebook cookbook Fondue and Raclette, we experimented with different crusts: Nature’s Own Sandwich Rounds, lavash (we used the soft version, which is kind of like a Middle Eastern tortilla), and Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust.
We used a few different kinds of bread for crusts. You can experiment, too!
I set out enough different kinds of toppings to make conventional pepperoni pizza and sauce-less artisan pizzas so we could also experiment with sauce and determine how that affected our results.
After eating a little too much in the name of science, we decided that the Pillsbury crust was our favorite. The flavor and the texture were excellent and the most like real pizza. It also did not get soggy when we covered it in pizza sauce. You’ll have to bake the crust ahead of time, but it doesn't take very long at all. We cut it into 8 squares (2x4), but we decided afterward that cutting it into 12 squares (3x4) would have been better as the crusts would have fit more neatly in the raclette trays of our Swissmar grill. (I broke mine in half and it worked out just fine.)
Pillsbury whole-wheat pizza dough before and after baking for a couple of minutes
The sandwich rounds also worked out really well and were very convenient. We “toasted” them on the cast-iron grill before we put the toppings on because they seemed to hold up better under the weight of the sauce. If you want crusts that are both very convenient and tasty, the sandwich rounds are the best options.
The lavash was too soft and got a little soggy under the weight of the sauce, but in a pinch, it would work as a crust for raclette pizza. I used it for my basil-and-tomato pizza and worked fine, but it was more like eating a wrap than a pizza.
I think flatbread, flat bagels, English muffins, and possibly naan would make good pizza crusts as well. Experiment at your own table: I'm sure no one will turn down an invitation for a pizza dinner. Note that we originally thought the raclette pizzas would be great for kids, but after trying them out ourselves, I have to say that young kids shouldn't make this dish without a lot of help or supervision from their parents and guardians. The trays get quite hot and the pizzas are hot when they've just finished: too many opportunities for burned mouths and burned fingers.
A pepperoni pizza ready to go in the raclette grill!
Ingredients (serves 4)
Suggest toppings for conventional pizzas:
Suggested toppings for artisan pizzas:
Suggested wine pairing:
It’s hard to say what wine will pair well with this raclette pizzas because the ingredients are up to you and your guests. However, a couple of broad guidelines can help: For conventional pizzas with tomato sauce, a "big red" like a Chianti or a Zinfandel would be good. For the fancy pizzas without the sauced, you can easily pair a white, like a Southern Rhone or a dry Riesling. If in doubt, just have a beer! A pilsner or a Belgian Dubbel would work well with the crust and the sauce of the pizza.
Or check our full recipe index for even more ideas!
Some of my favorite online stores might have just what you need for your next tabletop meal!
Asian Food Grocer has a great selection of essential ingredients and many hard-to-find items.
Cilantro Cook Shop has a great selection of quality raclette and fondue sets.
For The Gourmet has an amazing selection of cheeses and chocolates.
Sephra specializes in chocolate, caramel and fruit fondues... and fountains.