makes 18 mini pizzas;
Serves 6 to 8

Flour for the work surface
1 lb. pizza dough, store-bought
or homemade
Extra-virgin olive oil, for
Kosher salt and freshly ground
black pepper
2 tsp. fennel seeds, coarsely
1 1-inch-thick slice Bûcheron
(about 6 oz.), cut into
36 thin wedges (if the cheese
crumbles, let it warm to room
temperature), or a log of fresh
goat cheese, cut into thin
14 pitted Kalamata olives,
18 cherry or grape tomatoes,
sliced into 1/4-inch rounds,
ends discarded
Crushed red pepper flakes
11/2 tsp. sambuca or Pernod®
Sambuca or Pernod makes a nice, sweet contrast with the salty cheese, and it
brings out the flavor of the fennel.

  1. Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire with
    the coals banked to one side to provide a cooler area on the grill.
  2. On a well-floured surface roll out the pizza dough with a rolling pin until it’s
    1/8 inch thick. If the dough is very elastic and resists rolling, cover it with plastic
    and let it rest for about 5 minutes. You may have to repeat this step a few
    times until the dough is relaxed and willing to roll. Using a 3-inch round cookie
    cutter, cut the dough into 18 rounds. Discard the excess dough.
  3. Brush the top of the dough rounds with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper,
    and fennel seeds, pressing gently to make sure they adhere. Transfer the
    rounds to a baking sheet, fennel side up.
  4. Working with half of the pizzettas at a time, grill them fennel side down
    (covered on a gas grill, uncovered on a charcoal grill) for 1 minute. Check the
    pizzettas: If they have puffed up, flatten them with a metal spatula. Brush
    the floured sides (which are facing up) with oil. Grill until the bottom is nicely
    browned and crisp, about another 1 minute. Loosen with a metal spatula, if
    necessary, and return the pizzettas, grilled side up, to the baking sheet. (If using a gas grill, turn the heat down to medium.)
  5. Working quickly, top each with 2 wedges of Bûcheron, 3 olive pieces,
    3 tomato slices, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Use a small spoon to sprinkle
    each pizzetta with a few drops of sambuca or Pernod.
  6. Return the pizzettas to the medium-heat gas grill or to the cooler side of a
    charcoal grill. Continue grilling, covered, until the pizzettas are crisp and the
    cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve while you
    repeat with the remaining dough rounds. —Allison Ehri Kreitler

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