Pissaladière is a sumptuous onion tart or pizza which is a popular starting course in the south of France. We love the sweet, roasty flavors and crunchy, chewy dough as a side dish.
Originating in the Pays Niçois region of France with it’s Italian influences, this yeasted flatbread is traditionally topped with caramelized onions, anchovies, olives and thyme. For Pissaladière Splendid we’ve added oven roasted tomatoes. They add a tart sweetness, color and texture. In the winter, we love serving this warm goodness directly from the oven.
Come summer, we like to throw the dough on the grill, and love the addition of the smokey flavor, and the outdoor ease. Both methods are detailed below.
Using a food processor, the dough takes minutes to make and couldn’t be easier. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before using. One could use a store bought pizza dough or thawed puff pastry dough instead.
We like using the small Niçoise olives (with pits), but a larger pitted olive is fine chopped (a low brine olive from the South of France would taste best).
Once you try making this on the grill you won’t want to stop at onions and tomatoes — the topping possibilities are endless.
Try brushing the dough with plenty of olive olive oil, and topping it with chopped garlic and rosemary. It is divine and is the easiest possible way to offer fresh bread with a meal.
We were reminded of the splendid delight of a Pissaladière at a birthday lunch in an incredible little fishing lodge in upstate New York, down by the riverside.
What a beautiful lunch!
1 ½ cups flour +more for kneading
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup warm water (warm from tap)
1 teaspoon active yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons olive oil
5 onions (about 1-½ pounds, uniform diameter)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
20 anchovy fillets, 10 coarsely chopped, 10 cut in 1/2
1 pound tomatoes, ripe, uniform in diameter
Install a plastic blade in a food processor if available, if not, a metal blade will work.
Put flour, salt and yeast in food processor bowl and pulse 3 times to blend.
Crack egg into powder mixture, pulse twice to blend in.
Run food processor and slowly pour in warm water and tablespoon of olive oil.
Continue running until dough forms a ball.
Remove dough from food processor and put on floured surface.
Fold dough over itself in thirds.
Flip over and pound ball down flat.
Repeat process 8 times.
Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large mixing bowl.
Roll dough in oil until coated.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put in warm, draft free location to rise (allow 1 hour and 1/2, dough should double in size).
The dough can also be put into the refrigerator and left to rise overnight (and it can be stored for 2-3 days before used). Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature before using.
Slice tomatoes 1/4 inch thick
Salt slices and place on paper towels to draw moisture out of tomatoes.
Leave for about an hour.
Place tomatoes on cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the thyme leaves.
Place in center rack of oven and roast for about 45 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Slice onions about 1/4 inches thick.
Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil in large nonstick frying pan.
Heat oil to medium high.
Spoon in sugar and distribute evenly in oil.
Place onions in a single layer in heated olive oil.
Cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes,
Gently flip onions and caramelize the other side.
This method is for whole slices of onions.
Brush dough with olive oil, sprinkle with the rest of the thyme leaves, coarsely chopped anchovies, a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.
Place oven roasted tomatoes on top of dough.
Using a spatula, place caramelized onions over tomatoes. Uniformly place anchovy halves on onions. Evenly distribute olives over top. (Warn guest of pits in Niçoise olives)
Place in center rack of oven and bake for 25 minutes. If the dough looks dry when removed brush with more olive oil.
Pissaladière is delicious made on the grill in the summer. Follow the same steps as above to the point of assembly. Brush one side of dough with olive oil and lie the oiled side down on a medium hot grill. Brush the top with olive oil.
Cook until the bottom is a crispy, golden brown. Slide off of grill using a cookie sheet or cutting board. Cut in squares and serve.
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