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Author Notes: I'll use this pizza as a life metaphor: When you know what you like, then don't hold back. I love fennel, and with this pizza there is no holding back. You get fennel 3 ways - caramelized, a salami aromatic, and a fragrant dusting of pollen. No worries if you are a fennel newbie. For all of its assertion the fennel never overwhelms in its various iterations, happily mingling with garlic, cheese and the aforementioned onion, so do have a go at it.
As for the skillet? It's a convenient alternative to a pizza stone, yielding a crisp flatbread-like crust you can whip up in minutes. This stovetop method may also be likened to a life metaphor, discovered when you accidentally drop and crack your pizza stone on the floor in your haste to develop a recipe: Keep calm, carry on, and improvise. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.
(If you are lucky enough to have an intact pizza stone, feel free to assemble the pizza, slide it on the stone, and bake at 475 F. for approximately 15 minutes). —TasteFood
Makes 1 (12-inch) pizza
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces prepared pizza dough
- 1 mozzarella ball, about 7 ounces, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces thinly sliced finocchio or finocchiona salami
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese
- Chopped Italian parsley
- Fennel pollen
- Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and garlic together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add fennel and onion. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and red chili flakes. Saute until fennel brightens in color and edges of fennel and onions begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat oven broiler. Stretch out the dough to a 12-inch round. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and swirl around to coat. Lay dough in skillet. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the dough. While the dough continues to cook, brush cooked side with reserved garlic oil. Sprinkle with a little salt. Lay the mozzarella over the dough. Scatter fennel and onions all over and then top with salame. Sprinkle parmigiano over the pizza and add extra red pepper flakes if desired. When the bottom of the pizza is golden brown, transfer the skillet to oven. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove and transfer to a cutting board. Sprinkle with parsley and fennel pollen. Slice and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Fennel