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Pissaladière

A pissaladière is a pizza-style tart that originated in the southern region of France around Nice and the French Riviera. The defining ingredients are caramelized onions, anchovies and cured black olives, but some recipes (including ours) call for fresh tomatoes as well. Baked on a thin white-wheat crust that crisps nicely around the edges, our pissaladière can be served either as an appetizer or a main dish.

Pissaladière

Pissaladière

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 2 lbs)
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise into thin slivers
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 recipe White-Wheat Pizza Dough (recipe follows), or your favorite store-bought dough
  • 18 to 24 good-quality anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 12 to 16 cured black olives, pitted (we used niçoise)

Preparation:
Chop the tomatoes into 1/4-inch dice and place them in a strainer. Toss with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and set over a bowl to allow the excess liquid to drain.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter, onions, garlic and fresh thyme. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, sweet and golden in color, 25 to 35 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet sprinkled with a little cornmeal. Pre-bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the onions evenly over the crust to within 3/4-inch of the edge. Scatter the tomatoes over the top.

Arrange the anchovy fillets end to end, in a criss-cross diamond pattern over top of the onions. Place olives in the center of each diamond.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and crisp and the tomatoes are tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and cut into serving sized pieces.

Note: Remember that baking times may vary depending on your particular oven, so keep an eye on the pissaladière as is bakes to avoid overcooking.

Makes 8 appetizer servings or 4 main dish servings

White-Wheat Pizza Dough

This is a hand-kneaded dough that uses rapid/quick rise yeast. We like it because you don't need special equipment and it requires no extended rising times.

The recipe makes enough dough for two thin-crust, 12-inch round pizzas or 10 x 15-inch rectangles.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 to 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 envelope fast-rising yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water (125°F to 130°F)
  • Cornmeal

Preparation:
Combine the whole wheat flour, 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and warm water and stir to combine. Add enough extra all-purpose flour to form a soft dough (1/2 cup is usually enough).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 6 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover loosely and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough in half and flatten into 2 disks. Roll and stretch to fit pizza/baking pans that have been lightly oiled and sprinkled with cornmeal.

Pre-bake the crust for 5 minutes at 425°F. Remove from the oven, add the toppings, and continue baking until the crust is nicely toasted, 8 to 12 minutes longer.

Make ahead tip: This dough can be made ahead, wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for up to one day if desired. Remove from the refrigerator for 10 minutes before rolling.

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