Picnicking is encouraged in the many parks of Paris as an idyllic way to admire the famous city. No French picnic is complete without the very provenҫal pissaladier, a savoury tart featuring anchovies, capers and thyme. Prepare the dough the day before.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 (about 500 g) onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp capers, drained, finely chopped
- 8 anchovy fillets, soaked in fresh water for 10 minutes, drained
- 12 black olives, such as Niçoise
- 280 g plain flour
- ½ tsp instant yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra, to brush
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.
Start the recipe a day ahead.
To make the dough, combine the flour, yeast and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the oil and 200 ml cold water, then mix until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Divide into 2 and shape into balls. Place on a lightly oiled plate, brush with oil, then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Remove dough from fridge 2 hours before baking.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and a pinch of salt. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until onions are very soft. Remove lid, increase heat to medium–high and cook, stirring frequently, for a further 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Discard bay leaf and stir in the capers.
Preheat oven to 240°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Roll out each ball of dough on a floured work surface to 25 cm rounds. Transfer to the lined trays and top each with half the onion mixture, leaving a 2 cm border. Top each with half the anchovies and olives, and bake for 20 minutes, swapping trays halfway, or until edges are golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Season with pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature. Pissaladière will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
As seen in Feast magazine, Sept 2011, Issue 1. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.