Every Friday night we would wander down to our little local neighbourhood pizza place where we would sit at the same table and order the same pizza. Not very exciting I know, but it was simply just too good not to remain loyal. As I remember, it combined smoked salmon, capers, a tomato base and cheese and was wood-fired until it was creamy, melty and crispy at the edges. Yum.
My healthier riff of this childhood favourite features house-made soy, linseed and pumpkin flatbread, smoked salmon, local prosciutto, fennel puree, capers, chilli, lemon zest and dusted with a little Parmesan cheese.
Simple but special.
1 wholemeal flatbread – I used a beautiful house-made soy, linseed and pumpkin flatbread from my favourite market stall, but any wholemeal flatbread is fine
2 slices of smoked salmon
2 slices of prosciutto
1 baby fennel, sliced thinly – reserve fronds for garnish
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
Baby capers, rinsed
Dried chilli flakes
Zest and juice of a fresh lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 250C, or its highest temperature. If you have a pizza stone pop it in the oven to heat up – this will take about 10 minutes once the oven has reached temperature.
As the oven heats up prepare the fennel puree. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the fennel and garlic. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook gently for about 10-15 minutes, or until the fennel is tender and cooked through. Strain the fennel mix to remove any excess oil and discard. Transfer fennel to a blender – or using a stick blender – blend until smooth. Set aside.
Carefully remove the pizza stone from the oven and dust with polenta. Place the flatbread on the stone and brush lightly with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop into the oven for 3 minutes or so – depending on the thickness of your flatbread – you just want to slightly colour and crisp up the bread. Remove from oven.
Spread the fennel puree on the flatbread base evenly. Add the prosciutto, capers, a generous grating of Parmesan, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Pop back into the oven for about 5 minutes until the prosciutto has crisped up and the cheese has melted. Remove the flatbread from the oven and top with smoked salmon. Sprinkle with dried chilli flakes, lemon zest, another grating of Parmesan and garnish with the reserved fennel fronds. Serve with a wedge of lemon.
Makes 1 flatbread