Fennel in one of my favorite vegetables. The flavor of fennel is quite similar to anise, but they are not the same vegetable. It is delicious raw, sliced in a salad. It is completely different in flavor when cooked in a casserole, like this potato and fennel gratin which is quite tasty. It is incredible roasted with other vegetables when the edges get a bit crunchy and caramelized and the flavors mellow. Fennel leaves look like dill in their delicate, thin, wispy green appearance. These leaves are used as an herb. The fennel bulb is used as a vegetable. Fennel is one of the main ingredients in original absinthe. I love fennel.
The use of fennel in this recipe is what caught my eye on the Eating Well website. Yes. I am posting yet another recipe from the site. Everything I’ve made so far has been wonderful, so I’ll keep trying things until I hit a bump. Then I’ll back off, but not until I find something that doesn’t make me want seconds.
These pizzas are not greasy or overly cheesy. The vegetables add great flavor, and the chicken is much better for you than pepperoni or sausage. There isn’t any sauce on the pitas, which I thought would make them a bit dry, but they were not even close. The little bit of cheese goes a long way and you don’t miss the sauce.
I changed the recipe just a bit. I added salt, pepper and minced garlic to the chicken before cooking it, and I cooked the vegetables and chicken separately. On two of the pizzas I used feta cheese instead of provolone and sprinkled some red pepper flakes on the finished products. A combination of provolone and feta would be better since feta doesn’t melt very well.
Whole wheat pitas serve as the crust in these “pizzas”.
Sauteed red bell peppers, fennel and chicken top the pitas.
Provolone cheese is the finishing touch and is the glue that holds it all together.
Ben and I both liked these. He did say that they tasted healthy, which I took as a complement.
Chicken and Fennel Flatbread Pizzas
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bulb fennel, quartered, cored and thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon chopped feathery tops for garnish
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, very thinly sliced crosswise
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 6-1/2-inch whole-wheat pitas, or eight 4-inch whole-wheat pitas
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and a few minced garlic cloves.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Set aside on a plate.
- Add chicken and cook another 5 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Place pitas on a baking sheet and top each with an equal portion of the chicken and vegetable mixture; sprinkle with cheese and pepper. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fennel tops and serve warm.
Per serving (6 1/2-inch pita) : 447 Calories; 13 g Fat; 6 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 6 mg Cholesterol; 53 g Carbohydrates; 30 g Protein; 10 g Fiber; 660 mg Sodium; 416 mg Potassium