Emmental is a Swiss cheese, but I saw it on everything when I was in the southeast of France, and for good reason. It pairs really nicely with the sweet fennel and onions, and the very salty French olives. For this recipe to be successful, try and cut the fennel paper thin (a mandolin does the trick the best I think), and don’t burn the onions.
This may sound unorthodox, but I think this pizza actually tastes better the day after and cold. Maybe it is because I am recreating a slice of pizza I purchased in a train station in Provence, and ate unheated while crossing the country at high speed and looking at vineyards – but, really, I believe the caramelized onions, pungent fennel and salty olives come through very well at room temperature. If you are looking for a pizza dough recipe, try this 60% whole wheat pizza dough.
Provençal Pizza Recipe(serves 4)
Prepare the pizza dough, and lay out on a parchment lined cookie sheet (alternatively, place on a pizza peel and use a pizza stone). Turn on your oven to 500F or convection 475F.
Heat a large heavy frying pan to medium low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the sliced onion to the pot. Slowly cook the onions, stirring regularly until caramelized. I like to add a pinch of salt and cover to speed up the process, then once soft remove the lid and turn up the heat. DOn't let burn! Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Coat the pizza dough in the remaining olive oil. Spread the dough evenly with the onions, raw fennel, olives, tomatoes and then emmental. Sprinkle with the thyme and drop the chevre on in 1/2 teaspoon dollops.
Bake until brown and bubbly on the top and the edges are crispy. Approximately 15-20 minutes.