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Celebrate la Fête Nationale with a classic Pissaladière

PISSALADIÈRE

Serves 8 as an appetizer

Time: 2 ½ hours

Sweet, caramelized onions, briny anchovies and olives make up the topping for this traditional tart from Nice (or Nizza owing to its Italian heritage). It’s made here with a Northwest twist – Walla Walla onions!

This version calls for a yeasted dough, which makes the tart somewhat like a pizza.  The onions are cooked slowly in olive oil until they’re soft and sweet.

The joy of pissaladière is that it’s as good cold as it is hot from the oven. So, make two and save some for later! Enjoy one or both with our Provençal-style rosé!

INGREDIENTS:

For the Filling:

  • 18 anchovy fillets, or to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds Walla-Walla sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on a Microplane or minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme  
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup Niçoise olives, pitted or not, or to taste

For the dough:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ⅔ cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups/250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt

METHOD:

  1. Make the filling: Finely chop 2 of the anchovy fillets. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, thyme and chopped anchovy, then cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in salt, and continue cooking for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be pale golden and very soft; lower the heat if they start to turn dark brown at the edges or stick to the skillet. Use your judgment on timing: Look to the color of the onions to tell you when they’re done. Remove from heat and cool completely before using.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dough: In a medium bowl, sprinkle dry yeast over warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes, then add oil. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt, then stir in yeast mixture with a wooden spoon until combined. Turn bowl's contents out onto a floured surface and knead until uniform and elastic, 3 to 5 (Flour your hands if necessary to keep dough from sticking.) Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, flip the dough over, cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rest in a draft-free place for 1 hour.
  3. Lightly oil an 11x17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Working on a floured surface, roll dough into an 11x16-inch rectangle, then transfer it to the oiled baking sheet and press the dough to the sides. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread cooked onions evenly over dough, and top with remaining anchovies and olives. Bake until edges and underside are golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.