TOMATO-FENNEL PIZZA WITH PROVOLONE CHEESE
Fields of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes From The Celebrated Greens Restaurant by Anne Somerville
The flavors of this favorite winter pizza are classic—the tomato sauce is infused with fennel seed, and the fresh fennel adds crisp texture and light flavor. The assertive provolone cheese is a pungent surprise.
Makes One 15-Inch Or Two 9-Inch Pizzas
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 medium-size yellow onion, diced, about 1/2 cup
• Salt and pepper
• 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 3/4 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and pureed, about 1¼ cups, or 1 16-ounce can tomatoes with juice, pureed
• 1 medium-size fennel bulb, quartered lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced
• Pizza Dough, ready to roll out
• Garlic Oil
• 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated, about 3/3 cup
• 2 ounces provolone cheese, grated, about 3/4 cup
• 1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated, about 3 tablespoons
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a pinch of pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the ground fennel. Saute until the onion begins to release its juices, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and another pinch of pepper. Simmer gently, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan and saute the sliced fennel over medium heat with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel and a few pinches of salt and pepper until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Roll out the dough and place it on a lightly oiled pizza pan or well-floured wooden peel; brush with the Garlic Oil. Spread the sauce over the dough and lay the fennel on top. Toss the mozzarella and provolone cheeses together and sprinkle on the pizza.
Bake the pizza, in the pan or on a preheated pizza stone, for 8 to 12 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Remove it from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Variation: Sprinkle coarsely chopped pitted black olives over the pizza before adding the cheese.