It was a picnic kind of day. As there are not wide open parks with picnicking room near us, we decided to have a picnic on the porch. I thought it sounded rather cute: picnic on the porch!
This picnic called for picnicky food, but not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. No, we wanted something with a little more umph. A Pissaladière was the perfect candidate. A pretty and tasty French pie that is covered with caramelized onions, anchovies and black olives. It is travels well (although it didn’t have to go far). Is eaten cold. Pairs well with rosé – I think all pink drinks are perfect for picnics! It can be made a day in advanced. And it is absolutely delicious.
When I make this I usually make enough for two pies. Even if I don’t make both of the pies I save the pizza dough for something else and eat the caramelized onions on everything else! If I am going to caramelize onions, I might as well make a boat load of them to enjoy.
4 onion sliced, sweated and caramelized until they turn velvety brown. The harshness of the onions fades away leaving only a pure rich, nutty sweetness that is out of this world. It is well worth the effort. I caramelize mine with a bouquet de garni or a teaspoon of herbes de provence, depending on whether or not the Avocado Lady has fresh herbs. I also add 4 anchovies to the onions to balance out the flavors on the pie.
When the onions are properly caramelized they are spread over a pizza dough and then covered with a lattice of anchovies and dotted with black olives.
Pissaladière is also a great appetizer or meal. It is one of our favorites.
Dough (or use store bought)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 brown onions, halved & sliced
20 anchovies (2-3 tins, depending on size of can)
1 bouquet de garni or 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
10 black olives cut in half (can use more or fewer)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt if not using anchovies in the onion mixture
1. (If using store bought pizza dough skip ahead to step 4.) Put yeast and sugar into a bowl. Add warm water (warm on your wrist, but not so hot that you wouldn’t feed it to a baby) and wait 5 minutes for yeast to proof. The yeast should bubble and form a foam layer.
2. Mix 3 cups flour and salt together in a bowl. When yeast has activated add the water and yeast to the flour. Then add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix everything together. Slowly add the remaining cup of flour as you knead the dough. The dough shouldn’t stick to the side of the bowl, but you don’t want it too dry either. Add more flour or water as needed. Turn dough onto countertop and knead for 5 minutes.
3. Oil a large bowl. Place dough in the bowl, roll it around to coat with oil and cover bowl with a wet towel. Put in a warm place and allow dough to double in size. About 30 minutes.
4. While the dough is rising, sauté the onions in olive oil over a low heat. Add a teaspoon of herbes de Provence (or bouquet de garni) and a teaspoon of pepper to the onions. (If not adding anchovies to onion, then add a teaspoon of salt at this stage.) Stir frequently to ensure they aren’t burning. As the onions sweat out their liquids you will need to stir more often. Toward the end of the caramelization process the onions tend to stick to the pan, so I add a tablespoon of butter to pan. It adds a nice subtle flavor and helps with the sticking. But you can just add more olive oil if you want. At this point add 4 anchovies and mix until they break apart and disappear. Continue cooking until onions have completely caramelized. About 30 minutes.
5. When dough has doubled, punched down dough and roll onto counter. Separate into two balls. If you are only making one pie, then put the other in a freezer bag and place in the fridge or freezer for future use. Roll out dough into a circle or square. I have a very tiny electric oven, so I made a small rectangle. But I usually make a large circle. Either is fine. Place on a oiled and floured baking sheet. (A pizza stone covered in corn meal would be even better.)
6. Spread onions over dough. Arrange anchovies on top of onions in lattice pattern. Place black olives in the open square.
7. Cook at 350 f for 15 to 20 minutes or until dough is lightly browned.