Wolfgang Puck: Fragrant fennel stars on homemade pizza

One of the world's breakthrough chefs, Wolfgang Puck, says fennel is a farm-fresh ingredient that is ideal for pizza. This guy should know since he is the innovator who ushered in the specialty pizza era with his out-of-the-box smoked salmon pizza in 1982.

Writing in freep.com, the Detroit Free Press' website, Puck credits farmer's markets for the variety of vegetable and fruit choices. The famous chef remember not so long ago when supermarkets displayed a surprisingly limited array, their selections seemingly based more on inventory control and what stayed freshest and looked attractive longest rather than on any dedication to offering great tastes and inspiring options.

Puck says one of his favorite veggies for pizza is fennel, which remains abundantly available at good prices into spring. Fennel is best described in terms of other, more familiar ingredients: It has the crispness and cool freshness of celery, combined with a mildly sweet taste and scent faintly reminiscent of licorice. (Fennel seeds, also carry that distinctive flavor and aroma.)

Read more about Chef Puck's fun recipe for incorporating the taste and nutritional value of fennel into a healthy pizza meal.