The fragrance of freshly shaved fennel bulb is perfume to the kitchen. Its sweet licorice aroma and delicate grassy notes also make it a perfect topping for a vegetarian pizza. We become so excited for the fennel bulbs that grow year after year. It would be great to be able to take credit for them, but the wind and Mother Nature are the real forces behind the fresh fennel that feeds us each year. But we can at least take credit for this pizza that we love eating so much!

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Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 batch Pizza Dough
  • About 1 pound (455g) heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch (6mm) thick
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup (50g) freshly grated Parmesan
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup (20g) baby arugula

Method

Directions

  1. Place a baking stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat the oven to 550°F (290°C), or as hot as your oven will go.
  2. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons oil, the garlic, and the fennel.
  3. Divide the pizza dough in two and stretch the first half. (See instructions in Pizza Dough recipe.) Brush the edges of the dough with oil. Place the dough on a floured peel (see Note) and shake the dough on the peel to make sure it isn’t sticking.
  4. Layer the tomato slices onto the pizza. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon sea salt and pepper to taste. Pick the fennel out of the bowl and layer it on the pizza. Sprinkle with about one-third of the Parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
  5. While the first pizza bakes, repeat step 3 with the second dough half. After the first pizza is out of the oven, repeat step 4 with the second pizza.
  6. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the pizzas. Slice. Top evenly with the arugula and the remaining Parmesan. If you wish, drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle a dash of sea salt over the arugula.

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