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!