It’s Ingredient Challenge Monday! Today’s ingredient is fennel. This was my first experience with it, and I’m officially hooked.
This was one of those recipes that literally came to me within a few minutes. I had been searching through my cookbooks, websites, and food blogs trying to find some inspiration for today’s dish. Then literally out of nowhere I thought about flatbread and everything seemed right in the world. At least for a couple of minutes.
Caramelized Fennel and Bleu Cheese Flatbread
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tsp yeast
1/3 olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 fennel bulb, washed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Greek seasoning
4 oz Bleu cheese, crumbled
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
Preheat oven to 500°. Mix the hot water with yeast; set aside. In a stand mixer on low, combine the salt and flour and slowly drizzle in the oil with the mixer on. Add the water/yeast mixture and continue mixing until a ball forms. Move to a bowl coated with olive oil, cover and refrigerate.
Remove the stalks from the fennel and throw away, but keep the fronds (the cute thin little strands on the top). Slice the bulb as thin as you can.
Drizzle some olive oil – I used about 3 swirls from my bottle – in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, stir for a few seconds then add the fennel slices. Stir and combine with the olive oil, and reduce heat to medium. Saute until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Generously coat a pizza size stone with olive oil. You could also use a baking sheet; I’ve done that before and it works just a well. I like using my stone because it’s nice and seasoned. Take the dough out of the fridge and half. Save the rest of it for later; you’ll be making this again.
Spread it out thin, covering your stone or baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle the Greek seasoning evenly. Next, layer the tomatoes, fennel bulb and bleu cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is starting to brown a little.
Slice into squares, and top with some of the fronds.
I took my first bite, and then proceeded to inhale much more than I should have at one time. Make these soon!!
Now, go to the other challengers’ sites and check out their fennel creations:
I ♥ ICM!!