A few weeks ago I shared with you a honey lavender cheesecake which reminded me of Provence. What about continuing this summer saga in the south of France and sharing with you today a French classic from this region: the traditional onion and anchovy tart “pissaladière”!
If you’ve ever been to the south of France, you probably tried a pissaladière at some point already. This dish originally from Nice is made from a dough which is halfway between a bread dough and a pizza dough, and is topped with caramelized onions, olives, and anchovies.
If you are not fond of anchovies, you can skip them in the recipe. The pissaladière with caramelized onions only will still be very good! Personally I really like the addition of anchovies that bring a savory touch to the sweet onions in the pissaladière.
Pissaladière is a classic for summer gatherings to enjoy in a beautiful summer house in the south of France.
We usually serve it cut into squares as an appetizer (it’s perfect for a garden party for instance), but you can also have it as a starter or even a main dish with a green salad on the side. My advice: enjoy it lukewarm, especially on a hot summer evening.
- 1¾ cup (200g) strong white bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp easy blend dried yeast
- ⅔ cup (150ml) warm water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 35 oz (1 kg) onions, thinly sliced
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 5,6 oz (160g) anchovy fillets
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- A handful of black olives
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 1 tsp dried herbes de Provence (optional)
- Salt & pepper
- For the dough: Tip the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl. Pour in the water, spoon in the oil and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
- Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave it to rise for about 1 hour or until the dough springs back when pressed.
- For the filling : while the dough is rising, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan or sauté pan, throw in the onions with the garlic, and fry gently for about 10 minutes with a tablespoon of sugar until softened but not browned, stirring from time to time.
- Sprinkle in the thyme, dried herbes de Provence, salt and pepper, and stir well. Cover and cook gently for 30 minutes until the onions are meltingly soft, stirring occasionally and removing the lid for the last 10 minutes to reduce any liquid. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 430 F (220 C). Knead the dough again briefly, then roll it out into a large rectangle, then transfer onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Don't let the dough rise again.
- Spread the onion mixture over the dough, then arrange the anchovies on top, making a criss-cross pattern. Stud each anchovy intersection with an olive.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Serve warm or lukewarm, cut into squares.
If you enjoy this dish, you might also like my Swedish anchovy and onion pie or my Extravagant onion and ricotta pie, two fabulous recipes I recommend you try. If you ask for my favorite one between the two of them and the pissaladière, I guess I would go for the first one on Monday, the second on Tuesday and the third on Wednesday, or the other way around. But I would never be able to choose, that is for sure!