Fennel & Orange Focaccia

Sometimes I like to plan meals with flavors that are the same in each food.  The other night I made a Spicy Blueberry & Orange Pork Tenderloin with this Fennel & Orange Focaccia.  Not only does each food compliment the other, but it also is a great way to be able to use every part of the specific ingredient.  In the pork tenderloin I used the orange zest, and then in the focaccia, I used the orange slices and the juice.  The only waste I had from the oranges was the pith.

Also…have you ever tried fennel?  It has this amazing licorice scent and flavor.  It looks like celery, dill and an onion had a baby…but it tastes like no other fruit or vegetable I’ve ever tasted.  Fennel is in the same family as parsley, carrots, dill, and coriander.  You can eat both the bulb of the fennel as well as the feathery leaves.

Fennel is super yummy raw in salads and cooked in various dishes such as stews, topped on pizza or focaccia, as well as in several Italian dishes.  In fact, fennel is quite common in Italian recipes.  Next time you are at the grocery store see if you can find some fennel and try it out for yourself.

Fennel & Orange Focaccia


1lb raw pizza dough, don’t use Pillsbury tube kind, find actual pizza dough.  You can make your own, or almost every pizza joint will sell you raw pizza dough.

3 fennel bulbs

2 oranges

1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper


Take pizza dough out of the refrigerator and let rise in an oiled bowl for 30-45 minutes.  Doing this will let the focaccia crust be light and airy instead of dense.  While dough rises, prepare the fennel and the oranges.  Slice the fennel super thin, I use a mandolin…and usually slice a finger because I am not being careful. To prepare the oranges, if you are using the zest in another recipe, make sure to zest the oranges first.  If not then omit that step.  You don’t want any of the pith when slicing the orange.  The easiest way to accomplish this is to slice the top and the bottom off of the orange and then cut the pith off in a downward motion.  Then cut the slices out of the orange.  When the dough is done rising place on a greased cookie sheet and spread, kneed, and pull until it is stretched to your desired thickness.  You can roll it out with a rolling pin, but I personally like the ease of eliminating that step as well as the rustic look of just using my hands.  Drizzle with olive oil then spread the fennel over top and place orange slices over the fennel.  Take the last part of the orange and squeeze the juice over the top.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.  Lastly spread the parmesan cheese.  Place in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are browning and the parmesan is beginning to bubble.  Serve immediately.

Do you have a favorite focaccia recipe?  Or a favorite recipe with fennel?  If you do, please share with me!!!  Also keep an eye out for the Spicy Blueberry & Orange Pork Tenderloin recipe.  Hope y’all are having an amazing week.

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