A Taste of South of France: Pissaladière

I’ve been looking to the food of South of France lately in my attempt to prolong summer as much as possible. In particular, I’ve recently rediscovered a dish I used to love: the pissaladière.

Pissaladière is a classic dish from Nice. It’s basically Southern France’s answer to pizza. One of the key ingredients in pissaladière, anchovies, are unfortunately not the most popular in the United States. But I personally love the intense flavours and saltiness of the pissaladière and it’s actually very easy to make at home.

pissaladiere, french food, french pizza, southern France food

Only a few ingredients are needed to make a pissaladière:

  • Caramelized onions (use 2-3 sliced yellow onions)
  • Niçoise olives (use other black, preferably oil-cured olives if you can’t find niçoises)
  • Anchovies (consider rinsing them under cold water if using canned ones)
  • Olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper
  • Pizza dough (store bought, or make your own using this recipe)

Warning: all of these ingredients combined make for a rather NSFW dish 😉

Step one for pissaladière is making the pizza dough, or rolling it out if you’re using a store bought dough. Place on an oiled baking sheet and pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F.

To caramelize the onions, heat 2-3 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and cook the onions over low heat for 40 minutes, until they are gold, soft and tender. Be very careful not to burn them. Before taking the onions off the heat add 2 teaspoons of thyme and some salt and pepper. Then, spoon the caramelized onions on top of the rolled out pizza dough and artfully arrange the anchovies and olives on top. Brush the edge of the pizza dough with a little olive oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until crisp. Simple as that.

I like to keep my pissaladière but Martha Stewart adds strips of tomatoes to her recipe and Kai Chun, senior editor at Food & Wine magazine, makes an interesting version with avocado, though there can definitely variations on the traditional recipe. All should be paired with a clean, refreshing, provence rosé, like  (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s) Château Miraval 2013, to pretend fall is still far away!

Celebrating Poutine Week… in Washington, D.C.

I think I may have mentioned it a few times on this blog, I used to live in Montreal, Quebec. For 4 years. You’d think this would mean I’d be able to weather this cold snowy winter like a champ, right? Well, not quite. But it means I have learned to appreciate Quebec delicacies like shish taouk and poutine (and Molson beer… let’s be honest). Montreal has changed a lot since I lived there. It’s still cold. But it now has macaron shops and poutine week. POUTINE WEEK!!! Are you kidding me!?!?

It’s basically like our Restaurant Week except between February 1st and February 7th, there are 30 restaurants that offer special poutines for $10. Do you have any idea how all over that I would have been when I was a college student? (hint: a lot all over). Ok, I don’t know if I would have been all over the Poutine au Phoque at Au Cinquième Péché… but otherwise, yes, all over that. Check out all the poutines on Thrillist and drool with me….

Poutine week

But now I live in the United States… and yes, we have the Canadian Embassy here in Washington, D.C. It’s got great views of the U.S. capitol and, occasionally, I have had poutine there. But most of the most time, it’s really hard to find poutine in the District. Well, apparently it’s not that hard according to this recent WaPo article but may I remind you, I used to live in the land of poutine, ChurchKey‘s Disco Fries and A&D Poutine Potato Chips aren’t gonna cut it. It’s even hard to find cheese curds to try and make your own poutine at home 😦

So when I heard that Trader Joe’s started selling poutine (thanks for the tip, Eater), I was, at the risk of repeating myself,  ALL OVER that. I mean, who needs poutine week… when I can basically pour myself a glass of Sleeman Honey Brown, stream Starbuck on Netflix and de-freeze some Trader Joes‘ Poutine?

Trader Joe's Poutine, poutine, frozen poutine, poutine in dc, dc,

Ok, while Starbuck is a great movie, the poutine from Trader Joe‘s is only OK. There wasn’t enough gravy, the fries were too soft and the curds tasted almost like mozzarella. So yeah, maybe I do need Poutine Week. Le sigh.