Caramelized Fennel + Bacon Pizza

This pizza is packed with flavor without leaning on heavy cheese or tomato sauce. A modest dose of canna-olive oil is incorporated into the fennel sauce for a medicinal infusion. Save your fennel fronds to garnish your plate, or if you love their fresh flavor, lightly chop fronds and top pizza before serving.


Caramelized fennel sauce

4 ounces shredded gruyere or crumbled chèvre (pictured)

4 slices bacon

Pizza dough



Caramelized Fennel Sauce



2 tablespoons canna-olive oil

1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

salt + ground black pepper



Pay close attention during this process – diligence and moderate heat will result in a silkier sauce to top your pizza.


In a large pan, heat canna-olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced fennel and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 6-to-8 minutes. Uncover and add at least 1 tablespoon water (more if needed) and cook, stirring constantly, until mix is golden brown and soft.



pizza stone*

pizza peel*


*Note: Only use if you have both, otherwise it will be impossible to transfer uncooked pizza from countertop to a hot pizza stone. Alternatively, use an ungreased cookie sheet.



  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees (or temperature recommended by manufacturer if using store bought dough). If you have one, preheat pizza stone on bottom rack.

Cook 4 slices of bacon until just shy of crispy. (It will finish baking on the pizza). Chop.

  • Sprinkle cornmeal liberally across pizza peel (flour works as a backup), before stretching or rolling out pizza dough into a 10-inch circle. Try not to let the center get too thin! I find a combination of stretching and rolling works best. Use a heavily floured rolling pin.
  • Top pizza with your fennel sauce, cheese and chopped bacon. Now here’s the tricky part – open oven door carefully (it’s hot in there!) and using a thick oven mitt, pull pizza stone to front edge of rack. Using a light flip of your wrist, get pizza loosened from the peel. (Use a thin, metal spatula to loosen if necessary). Once the pizza has momentum, line peel up with far side of pizza stone and carefully shake the pizza onto the stone. Voila! Your hard work is done.
  • Bake for 10-14 minutes or until edges of crust are golden brown. Cool back on pizza peel for 5 minutes before cutting with a large knife. Enjoy!

Emerald contributor since January 1970


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