I came up with the idea for this pizza one day when I was trying to decide on a meatless dinner. I like the idea of doing Meatless Mondays, which is a non-profit initiative with a goal of reducing meat consumption by 15%. We do go meatless at least once a week already, I believe, so it definitely would not be difficult to manage. I haven't officially signed up to be a part of the Meatless Mondays movement, but as of right now I'm giving it a trial run on my own! This is my first blog post about my efforts.
I had some very attractive red onions and sweet green peppers on hand, and when I ran by the grocery store, I saw that fennel was only 99 cents a pound. Score! The idea for this pizza was born then. I went home and got to work. I sauteed the veggies together in a skillet until they were all soft and sweet. Meanwhile, I had set up a basic whole-wheat pizza dough to form in the bread machine. When that was ready, I spread it out to fill a round pizza pan. The next step, I admit, is a strange one, but bear with me here!
I was trying to make this a bit lower in fat, so I decided to try spreading some soft cheese all over the crust of the pizza. I had a bunch of Laughing Cow spreadable cheese that I had been wanting to use up. It's only 2 grams of fat per wedge, but I have found that if I just spread it on crackers or something, it tastes a bit synthetic and fake. I thought perhaps I could mask this by throwing a bunch of delicious vegetables on top of it! I used about 2 wedges to spread on the crust, and then I diced another wedge to scatter across the top.
Crazily enough, this actually worked! I thought the cheese was creamy, tasty, and blended well with the other flavors on the pizza. I had used the French Onion variety of the cheese, but I'm sure any of the other flavors would work just fine.
Fennel, Onion, and Pepper Pizza
recipe by Bri
1 whole-wheat pizza dough
1 small bulb fennel, sliced thinly (discard the green tops, but reserve some of the fronds)
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1-2 sweet green peppers, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Nonstick cooking spray
Cornmeal, for dusting
3-4 wedges Laughing Cow spreadable cheese, any variety
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and add the fennel, onion, and green pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper as desired, as well as the garlic. Cook for an additional 3 or 4 minutes, until the veggies are softened. Turn the heat off and set the skillet aside.
2. Dust a foil-lined pizza pan with cornmeal, then stretch the pizza dough into a circular shape, to fit the pan. Spread 2 or 3 wedges of the cheese across the surface of the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Scatter your veggies evenly around the pizza, and then add an additional wedge or so of the cheese, cut into small pieces, across the pizza.
3. Bake the pizza in the oven for about 15 minutes or so, until the pizza dough is cooked through and the cheese has become slightly browned on top. Cut into wedges and serve.