Caramelized Fennel & Spinach Pizza with Goat Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Last night – in an effort to use random produce and – yes – cheese that I had in my fridge – I Googled a few ingredients and found this gorgeous pizza:

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It is Dang That’s Delicious’ Pizza with Caramelized Fennel, Spinach and Goat Cheese.  Their photos are prettier than mine – in part because I shot mine at night on my stove top with a clamp light & nothing else – never the prettiest way to go – and (I think) because they used a lotta cheese on theirs – more than I did on mine & their fennel strips remained pale green-white while mine browned – so my pizza is darker – also not always the prettiest thing.  I also used this super low end mozzarella that came in roll-up strips & browned more the way marshmallows do – rather than how cheese typically does.  No matter what the pictures say – or your preference for a lot or a little cheese – this pizza was DELICIOUS!   So – if you find yourself with this combo of things in your fridge – you cannot lose with this pizza!

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Caramelized Fennel & Spinach Pizza with Goat Cheese

(quantity of each is up to your personal preference)

1 pizza dough (your favorite – I used THIS)
Marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought – I used Rao’s Arrabbiata)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 fennel bulb, removed stalks and thinly sliced lengthwise (reserve the dill-like tips for garnish)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups fresh spinach – chopped
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
Crumbled goat cheese

(I added 1 TBS crushed red pepper)

A handful of semolina (my favorite) or other flour for rolling the dough out.

Delicate tops of the fennel – chopped – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 500F degrees.
2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Saute the fennel for 2 minutes on one side. Then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup (and crushed red pepper – if using) and continue cooking until the fennel is caramelized (about 7-10 minutes).

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3. Add the fresh spinach to the pan and cook until the spinach is just wilted.  Remove from heat.
4. Grease a cooking sheet (or – even better – use parchment paper) & place your rolled-dough on it. I like to roll my dough out on semolina flour – as it adds crunch to the crust. Top with sauce, greens & cheeses.

5.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until done to your liking.  Garnish with fennel fronds & devour!

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