A few years ago, I was introduced to Pissaladiere (or French pizza as we now call it at home). Its real name was getting thrashed about followed by fits of laughter as our girls, back then, got creative with how one really should pronounce Pissaladiere.
This savoury tart originates from Nice. It almost always has olives and anchovies sitting on top of caramelised onions and baby tomatoes. The anchovies are a must, although, for a truly vegetarian version, they are left off from time to time in this here kitchen.
This recipe was included in my first cookbook at a time when I cooked it so often. We received so many emails and calls of both delight and praise for this recipe once this book was released. I was so happy that people were cooking it and not feeling daunted by the fact that there is a little pastry making involved. It is a synch and involves no Yeast. I merely throw all ingredients in my stand mixer and go for it. There is never a week that I don’t have caramelised onions in our fridge and so after what feels like a long time since I have cooked and enjoyed it, I made a rather large one for us to enjoy last week after Ettie’s confirmation. It is just so good and in my opinion, almost as good cold, the following day. The enjoyment of French pizza for lunch? Don’t mind if I do.
Serves 6-8 or many as a canapé
60ml olive oil + an additional 100ml for the dough
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons thyme sprigs plus additional sprigs to serve
½ small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped or use ½-1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
300 g (2 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
250-350g grape tomatoes halved
160g small black olives pitted
Freshly cracked black pepper
Small tin of premium anchovies in olive oil, drained
Goats cheese to scatter, to serve
Heat 60ml of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and a teaspoon of sea salt and stir until the onions begin to cook down. Add garlic, thyme and chilli and cook, partially covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until very soft. Cool.
Place flour and 1 teaspoon of sea salt in a bowl. Add remaining 100 ml olive oil combined with 150ml lukewarm water and stir until mixture forms a sticky dough. Knead on a well-floured surface for 3-5 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 45 minutes for the dough to relax.
Preheat oven to 220oC.
Roll the pastry out on some baking paper, approximately same size as your baking tray. Roll it out until approximately 24cm x 40cm and then fold the edges in 1cm, to make a raised border. Spread the onion mixture inside the border and scatter with tomatoes.
Bake the pissaladiere for 20 minutes and then scatter with olives and anchovies on top (of course, only add if pescetarian diet)and bake for a further 10 minutes or until pastry is completely golden underneath. Serve immediately with extra thyme sprigs and scatter with crumbled goats cheese and season with salt and pepper.