pissaladière

Pissaladière is a delicious oniony tart that originates in Nice. The dough is usually a bread dough thicker than that of the classic pizza, and the traditional topping consists of caramelised (almost puréed) onions, olives, garlic and anchovies (either whole or in the form of anchovy paste.

Serve as an appetiser; it was traditionally cooked and sold early each morning around Nice.



INGREDIENTS

For the base:

·         225g strong white flour

·         ¾ tsp fine salt

·         ½ tsp easy bake yeast

·         freshly ground black pepper

·         1 tsp Herbs de Provence

·         150ml hand-hot water

For the filling:

·         3 tbsps olive oil

·         900 gm onions, roughly chopped

·         1 clove garlic, crushed

·         1 tsp Herbs de Provence

·         Salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the topping:

·         100 gm anchovy fillets in olive oil

·         about 12 pitted black olives, halved

·         1 teaspoon herbs de Provence


METHOD

1. Measure the flour and salt into a bowl then stir in the yeast, herbs and freshly milled black pepper.

2. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the hand-hot water.

3. Mix to a dough, using your hands in the final stages, and adding a drop more water if the dough is too dry.

4. Continue to mix and press the dough in the bowl until it is evenly mixed (it may feel little sticky), then put the bowl of dough into a large polythene bag and close it, or cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise for 45–60 minutes.

5. Meanwhile make the filling first by heating the oil in a large shallow pan.

6. Stir in the onions, crushed garlic and herbs, then cook over a medium to high heat (uncovered) for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions are golden brown.

7. Take the pan from the heat and taste and season with a little salt and some freshly milled pepper.

8. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for about a minute, then roll out roughly to an oblong shape. Place it in an oiled baking tray, pushing it up the sides and into the corners with your fingers.

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/Gas  7.

9. Drain the tin of anchovies and reserve 1 tablespoon of the oil, and slice the fillets in half lengthways.

10. Spread the cooked onion filling over the base and arrange the anchovies in a diamond shaped pattern (like lattice work) all over the onion filling, and stud each diamond with a halved, pitted olive.

11. Sprinkle with the herbs and drizzle the reserved anchovy oil all over.

12. Bake on a high shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Variants: You can add sliced red peppers to the onions, or 2 sliced tomatoes.