France’s answer to the pizza, pissaladière originated in Nice and can be made with a bread or pastry base, eaten hot or cold. It is full of the strong flavours of the south of France – onions, anchovies, thyme and olives, with no tomato required, as the sweetness of the onion alone is magic.

Serves
8

Preparation

15min

Cooking

40min

Skill level

Easy
By
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Ingredients

  • 50 g butter
  • 3 large onions, very finely sliced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 500 g bread or pizza dough 
  • 20 anchovy fillets, drained
  • 25 black olives
  • 25 small pieces of thyme, about 1 cm long

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onions and a little salt and pepper and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until lightly caramelised. It’s important to cook the onions slowly as otherwise they can burn and taste unpleasant. Leave to cool slightly.
 
Preheat the oven to 190°C and lightly brush a large square or rectangular tray with some of the oil.
 
Place the dough on the tray and use your hands to flatten it out to a rough square or rectangle about 5 mm thick. Brush the top of the dough with a little more oil.
 
Spread the cooked onion on top leaving a border of about 2 cm around the edges. Form the anchovies into lines about 5 cm apart going diagonally across the onion. Make more lines of anchovies criss-crossing these lines, creating a diamond pattern. Place an olive and thyme sprig in each diamond. Season the pissaladière with pepper.
 
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the base is golden and crisp. Brush the edges of the bread with a little more olive oil, then slice and serve. (Alternatively, let the pissaladière cool to room temperature before serving.)
 
 
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Alice Storey.