Going into this recipe, I wasn’t totally sure how I was feeling about it. On one hand, I love puff pastry and everything that I’ve made with it – both sweet and savoury. Some of my faves are: Cheese & Onion Pinwheeels and Pigs in a Blanket. But on the other hand, I don’t love fennel because I’m not a fan of the licorice flavour. I tried it before in a roasted vegetable recipe from the Yum & Yummer book and I did not like it. But it is essentially the main ingredient here so I couldn’t really skip it.
This was a very easy recipe though. It starts by cooking down the fennel in a pan with some onion, until everything is golden brown and tender. This helps to bring out the sugars and really mellows out the licorice flavour of the fennel. It is also flavoured with thyme, lemon, salt and pepper. The thyme adds such a nice warmth. Once this is ready, then it’s time to assemble.
The base is simply a sheet of puff pastry and then you spread a layer of cashew cheese sauce, leaving a little edge as a crust. I had the sauce leftover from when I made the Beeteroni Pizza and Pear and Tempeh Sandwich – I stuck it in the freezer because I wasn’t sure when I would use it up. It was the perfect amount for this recipe though! After that, all the fennel and onions go on top and then it just bakes like a regular pizza.
I think my puff pastry was a little thick so it took a few more minutes in the oven to get super crispy but once it was fully cooked, this looked incredible. And I gotta say, it tasted really food too. The crispy pastry went so well with the creamy cashew sauce and the fennel. I was surprised how much I liked the fennel, it was so sweet and much milder in flavour.
This was such a good tart and it is sort of changing how I feel about fennel which is pretty crazy to me. If you’re like me and aren’t a fan of the strong licorice flavour, you should definitely try cooking down the fennel to bring out its sugars.
Hope you have a great weekend!