Friday, July 01, 2005



The word of the day is Pissaladière. So chic! So French! And we all need a little continental in our lives sometimes, don't we? Mais oui! We do. (Which is why some of us still shop at E. Dehillerin, when most everything they sell can be found much closer to home. Oops.)

What it is exactly, is a take off on the pizza with caramelized onions, olives and anchovies. So let's see...deeply rich and savory onions, with the plump and sumptuous olives and scrumptious salty anchovies. Could this be more divine? I doubt it. And bonus! It tastes just as good room temperature too. (It's never made it quite to cold in my house, but I'm sure it is magnifique that way too.) Sure, sure, the picture isnt exactly glamour, but it was taken at night, so there.

You know what this is leading up to right? And you ARE right. I had a little time (about three hours to be exact) and I made pissaladière last night for cocktail hour (see earlier posts if you are unclear as to why I care so much about cocktail hour.), and it was a fete to be remembered. Salty, savory goodness. Served with Campari and soda, it is a perfect aperitif. Try it, and enjoy!

1/2 teaspoon molasses
1 packet instant yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons cornmeal (optional. I like it for texture. Some black pepper works nicely too)
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup warm water
Olive oil
2 cups caramelized onions
1/4 cup minced herbs (I use thyme, parsley and rosemary)
1/4 cup nicoise olives, pitted and rough chopped
Minced anchovies to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, combine the molasses, yeast and warm water, stir slightly to combine and let sit until the yeast foams, if the yeast does not foam, it is old and you should start again.

In your food processor (or stand mixer, or by hand if you are the type), combine the flours and cornmeal. Pulse once or twice to combine. Add the olive oil and pulse again. Slowly add the yeast then the water until the dough forms a ball. Continue to mix for 3 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. When done, remove the dough and coat it lightly with olive oil, put in a bowl and set aside (covered, and someplace warm) to rise, 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, punch down the dough. Preheat your oven to 550F (or as high as it will go) with your pizza stone on the lowest rack. This recipe works best with a pizza stone, pre-heated at least 20 minutes. If you don't have one, use a cookie sheet, or try this in a cast iron pan for pan pizza style.

Sprinkle a pizza peel (or a flat wooden cutting board, or a baking sheet with no sides) with coarse salt, pepper and some corn meal (this will help the pissaladière come off later) Form the dough into a disk, and place on the peel. Top with the herbs, onions, olives and anchovies. Drizzle with olive oil, paying particular attention to the exposed crust, then slide it into the oven. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove, slice and enjoy.

Serves four to six


The best anchovies are from the Collioure region of France.

If your radishes are tied with a rubber band, remove it before you store them. They will last longer

Fact: After you overeat, your hearing becomes slightly impared

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