This fennel pizza comes together quickly and is an easy, delicious way to get more veggies into your meal.
I love experimenting in the kitchen. That is one reason I spend so much time in there. But I also love to read up on new and creative recipes.
We have all heard about kale. It has so many health benefits that we should be eating it daily. Nowadays, you can find kale in smoothies, in soups, in sauerkraut, baked into chips, made with chocolate, and so on.
But have you heard that cauliflower is the new kale? Cauliflower is also part of the brassica family – meaning cabbage family along with cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and mustard plants.
There are many dishes and meals that feature those veggies. And those are delicious.
What I like about cauliflower, however, is that is so versatile. It doesn’t have a very strong taste and combined with the right ingredients you can barely taste it.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that cauliflower needs to hide. But who doesn’t like a recipe that packs in more goodness? My crustless quiche is such. It’s so delicious, it’s a staple in our home.
But what about a cauliflower pizza crust? Now, I am not trying to make something that could fool you into thinking it was a traditional, flour-based crust. But nevertheless, you can make a yummy “crust” with cauliflower!
Once you make the crust, it is complemented by the fennel topping. I like to saute and braise the fennel until golden and tender. You won’t even miss a sauce on this pizza. My cheese of choice here is a Fontina but really any cheese will work.
How to make the fennel topping
It’s best to make the topping first as it takes a while. Cut your fennel bulbs into thin slices. Melt some butter in your cast-iron skillet or pan and add the sliced fennel. Gently stir for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat, put a lid on your skillet, and braise for about 30-45 mins. The fennel should be golden and very soft. Set aside.
How to make the “crust”
Take a small head of cauliflower if you’re serving four people or a bigger head for more people. Now, you have several options (I’ve tried them all and they all work fine): you can break the cauliflower into smaller pieces and steam them in a steamer basket. You can also chop the cauliflower into “rice-size” pieces in your food processor and then steam them. If you’re in a hurry, you can use Trader Joe’s organic riced frozen cauliflower.
If you want your crust to be crisp and more traditional, place your steamed cauliflower onto a dish towel or flour sack and wring out the excess moisture. I usually skip this step since I don’t mind my crust not being perfectly crunchy.
Then you add 1 egg for (the equivalent of) one small head of cauliflower, some grated Fontina or mozzarella cheese, your favorite herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, etc, and a pinch of salt.
Mix all the ingredients together and spread them on a baking tray, forming a big round.
Bake a 400˚F for about 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
Putting the pizza together
Spread the braised fennel on your pizza “crust” and top with grated Fontina or your favorite cheese. However, the saltiness of the Fontina really compliments the sweet flavor of the fennel.
Bake at 400˚F for about 15-20 mins or until cheese starts to brown and bubble.
Fennel Paleo-Friendly Pizza
- 2 bulbs fennel
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 1 egg
- 8 oz Fontina cheese, grated (or your favorite cheese)
- 1 tsp herbs (such as basil, oregano, thyme etc)
- salt & pepper
- 1. Cut fennel into small slices.2. Melt butter in cast-iron skillet or pan.3. Saute fennel for about 5 mins while gently stirring.4. Put lid on skillet, lower heat and braise for about 30-45 mins, stirring occasionally, or until fennel is golden and tender. Set aside.5. Break cauliflower into smaller pieces or use riced cauliflower (you can rice in food processor or buy frozen). Steam in steamer basket until tender.6. Preheat oven to 400˚F.7. Optional for a crisper crust: placed steamed cauliflower onto a tea towel or flour sack and wring out as much water as possible. 8. In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg, about 2 oz grated cheese, herbs, salt, and pepper and mix well. 9. Spread this mixture onto a baking tray or pizza stone and shape into a round.10. Bake in hot oven for about 15-20 mins or until edges start to brown.11. Remove from oven.12. Spread braised fennel on cauliflower crust and top with remaining grated cheese. 13. Bake in hot oven until cheese starts to brown.14. Enjoy!