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Fennel Confit and Fontina Pizza

From The New Basics Cookbook (Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins)

 

For fennel lovers (editor’s note: try it even if you’re not crazy about fennel – you’ll be surprised at the great taste), a pizza that is pure heaven.  Fennel confit combines with fresh fennel for a splendid presentation.  This topping also works well on Whole-wheat Pizza Dough.  2 portions.

  • ½ recipe Basic Pizza Dough (1 ball)
  • 1 cup grated Fontina Cheese (or mozzarella)
  • 1 cup Fennel Confit (see next recipe)
  • ½ cup julienned fresh fennel bulb (save half for confit)
  • 10 small sprigs fennel (optional)
  • 8 to 10 strips shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil

One hour before cooking, preheat the oven to 500F. When the oven is almost ready, lightly oil a pizza pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.

  1. On a well-floured surface, press the dough out to form a 12-inch circle.  Transfer it to the prepared pizza pan, and cover with the Fontina, leaving a ½ inch rim.
  2. Spoon the fennel confit evenly over the cheese.  Arrange the julienned fennel, fennel leaves, and Parmesan shavings evenly over the confit.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake until the crust

 Farm Fresh Fabulous Fennel Confit

  • 1 fennel bulb (save half for pizza topping)
  • 1/8 C olive oil
  • 1/2 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 tsp pepper  
  • 1TBSP Pernod liqueur (optional)

1. Trim the fennel bulb and cut into long julienne strips.

  1. Combine oil and butter in a sauce pan over low heat.  Add the fennel and pepper; cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.
  2. I pureed in the food processor to top our pizza. 

 Tomato Pizza Dough

  • 1 C. tomato juice
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 to 3 C flour
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t salt 
  • Combine juice, yeast and 11/2 cups of the flour.  Mix well.  Add oil, salt and remaining flour.  Work until the dough holds its shape.
  • Knead about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled 2-qt bowl.  Cover and let rest until doubled in size, 1 hour.
  • When the dough has risen, divide into two (makes two 12 inch pizzas) and roll them into balls.  Cover with towel and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.  Now ready to be shaped, topped and cooked.
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