Meatless Monday: Caramelized fennel and fontina pizza
Pizza doesn't have to be piled with a bunch of toppings and a sea of sauce to taste great. This unique yet simple pizza is big on flavor.
For a Meatless Monday, this simple pizza is the way to go. Big on flavor, this recipe for caramelized fennel and fontina pizza doesn't include sauce, but you won't miss it.
Fennel is a vegetable that grows in the shape of a bulb, with several layers on the inside and feathery fronds on top. It has the crunch of celery and the lightest flavor of licorice. If you don't like licorice, don't worry. Fennel's flavor isn't overpowering, and when caramelized, it becomes slightly sweet.
Fontina cheese is great for pizza because it melts nicely and has a mild, nutty flavor to it — the perfect combo to the fennel for this simple pizza. This might be my new favorite pizza. It has only a few ingredients, but it is overflowing with flavor.
Caramelized fennel and fontina pizza recipe
- 1 pound pizza dough
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-1/2 cups (about 2 small bulbs) fennel, ends cut off, cut into thin strips
- 6 ounces fontina cheese, shredded or cut into thin slices
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Flour to dust the work surface
- Preheat your oven according to the directions for the dough you're using.
- To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the fennel strips. Add the salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high for about 5 minutes, and then reduce the heat to medium.
- Cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes total or until the fennel turns golden and has caramelized.
- About halfway through cooking the fennel, add the garlic and thyme to the skillet.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the pizza dough into a 10-inch round. Layer the cheese over the dough, and then top it with the caramelized fennel.
- Bake according to the directions for the dough or until it is golden and the cheese has melted.
- Remove from the oven. Allow the pizza to cool slightly, and then cut it into pieces and serve warm.
Toss around the idea of a simple yet flavorful pizza.