Friday, May 31, 2013

Fennel and Chicken Pesto Pizza with Fennel Pollen

Fennel and Chicken Pizza with Fennel Pollen from Buttercream Lane and Fact Woman
I recently joined a food blogger group called  The Fennel Friday Cooking Club hosted by The Pollen Ranch and Kimberly, at The Hungry Goddess.   Each month we are given a theme challenge to make something using one of The Pollen Ranch's delicious products. This month's theme was flatbreads or pizzas using Fennel Pollen as an ingredient.  We all post our recipes to the Fennel Friday group to share our recipes.  Head on over to check out the other recipes.

Fennel pollen I've never used Fennel Pollen before and was excited to receive the complimentary sample from The Pollen Ranch to use in my recipe. As soon as I opened the tin, I was surrounded by the scent of fennel. The fennel pollen adds a subtle fennel flavor to whatever you use it on. It's just a bit sweet and has tons of unique flavor to it.  It will be a secret ingredient in many dishes now that I've tried it.  In addition to this pizza, I used some in a batch of brown rice and it was delicious. I'll be using it in lots of dishes. I'm also thrilled that it's an organic product!

I decided to make a fennel and chicken pesto pizza for this challenge! Last weekend we fired up the grill for Memorial day and grilled up a ton of chicken and vegetables. We had chicken, corn, zucchini and potatoes. While the grill was hot, I threw on a sliced fennel bulb to use for this pizza.   You can use any vegetables you like on it but I decided to just use the grilled fennel, grilled chicken and a few sliced cherry tomatoes for some color.  I hope you enjoy it.

 Pizza Dough 

You can also buy store bought but here's the recipe that I use.
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup of warm water (110º F-  45º C)
Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast into a large bowl.
Add in the oil and the water.
Mix well until it forms a ball.
Knead for 5-7 minutes then let rest covered for 10 minutes. If you have the time you can let it rise until it doubles in size before rolling out but if you don't have that time you don't have to.
Roll flat  or press into a pizza pan.
Bake at  450º for 5 minutes then remove from oven and add toppings.
Fennel and Chicken Pizza with Fennel Pollen from Buttercream Lane and Factwoman

Sauce and Toppings

 You can use anything you like. Olive Oil and garlic, a red pizza sauce, marinara or make a simple pesto sauce of:

  •  2 cups of fresh raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
 Throw all these ingredients into a the blender or food processor and pulse until ingredients are blended and slightly chunky to make a simple pesto sauce. Add salt to taste if the cheese doesn't make it salty enough for you.  If it's too thick you can add a bit of water or more olive oil to thin it out a bit.

Spread the sauce over the partially baked crust.

Scatter the remaining toppings evenly over the pizza.
  • 1 cup chopped chicken breast
  • 1/2 a grilled fennel bulb, chopped. You can slice the bulb and grill it on a grill with some olive oil or just chop it and saute it in a bit of olive oil for 5-7 minutes until it's softened and slightly browned. 
  • 1/2- 3/4 of a tsp of fennel pollen 
  • 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes or any tomatoes sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  You can also add as much mozzarella or other cheeses as you'd like. I'm lactose intolerant so I only use a bit of parm. 
Return the pizza to the hot oven and bake for another 7-10 minutes until crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Don't forget to head over to the Fennel Friday group  to see what everyone else came up with!!!
Fennel and Chicken Pizza with Fennel Pollen from Buttercream Lane and Factwoman

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