Pizza With Spring Onions and Fennel
By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
Fennel and spring onions, cooked gently until they begin to caramelize, make a sweet topping for a pizza. Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of fiber, folate and potassium. Fennel also contains many phytonutrients, including the flavonoids rutin and quercitin, as well as a compound called anethole, mainly responsible for its anise-y flavor, that may have anti-inflammatory properties.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium size sweet spring onion, chopped, about 1 cup
Salt, preferably kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds trimmed fennel bulbs, tough outer layers removed, cored and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fennel fronds
1/2 recipe whole wheat pizza dough
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, preferably with a baking stone in it. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the onion and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the fennel and garlic, and stir together. Cook, stirring often, until the fennel begins to soften, about five minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook gently, stirring often, until the fennel is very tender and sweet and just beginning to color, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped fennel fronds, and remove from the heat.
2. Roll or press out the pizza dough and line a 12- to 14-inch pan. Brush the pizza crust with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle on the Parmesan. Spread the fennel mixture over the crust in an even layer. Place on top of the pizza stone, and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the crust are brown and the topping is beginning to brown. Remove from the heat. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Yield: One 12- to 14-inch pizza.
Advance preparation: The fennel topping can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. The dough can be made up to three days ahead and kept in the refrigerator.