Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Chicken Sausage, Sweet Onion, and Fennel Pizza | March 31, 2010

I love pizza.  It is probably my “desert island” food; I could eat it every day and not get sick of it.  And I like all makes and models of pizza.  Thin crust, thick crust, New York style, Chicago deep dish, Tombstone, shi-shi boutique pies – there’s a time and a place for them all.

Sometimes, when Papa John is calling my name, I fight the urge to splurge and throw together a healthier (relatively) “homemade” pie instead.  This version came from a Cooking Light feature, and the flavors were really terrific – the fennel, which I can normally only tolerate in VERY small quantities, was mellowed by caramelization and by the inclusion of sweet onions.  The saltiness of the sausage was just right, and even the small amount of cheese was enough to provide a creamy, melty element.  My only mistake?  Using a whole-wheat Boboli pizza crust (I know, I know).  It just never crisped up properly, so next time I’ll stick with a regular non-wheat crust, OR I’ll attempt to make my own!

  • 3  ounces  chicken apple sausage, chopped
  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1 1/2  cups  vertically sliced sweet onion
  • 1  cup  thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  (12-ounce) prebaked pizza crust
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded cheese (the recipe suggested Gouda, but I used Gruyere) 
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 450.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.

Add oil to pan. Add onion, fennel, and salt; cover and cook 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Place pizza crust on a baking sheet.  Top evenly with onion mixture; sprinkle with cheese, and top evenly with sausage. Bake at 450 for 12 minutes or until cheese melts.  Sprinkle evenly with chives.  Cut pizza into 8 wedges.

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