Bonjour, chers amis!
Joining us in our month-long exploration of galettes is that most classic of Provençal apéros – pissaladière. Like socca and galette de pommes de terre, pissaladière is a free-form tart. Found throughout Provence, it is a combination of onions, olives, thyme and (generally) anchovies.
As is the case with most traditional dishes, there are hundreds of variations of pissaladière. You might find the galette with a rough puff pastry base. Many cooks use pizza dough as the base instead (reflecting this part of France’s close proximity to Italy). I particularly like Martha Stewart’s recipe (below) because it makes this onion tart an easy weeknight treat. Rather than a homemade rough puff, this recipe uses store-bought frozen puff pastry. The result is superb!
While it’s true that you can find this type of tart year-round in southern France, for me this recipe is pure summer. Azure blue skies. Sun-baked cobblestone streets. A quiet, shaded courtyard. And a slice of pissaladière served with a light salad (and a glass of wine, bien sûr!).
As you can see from the photo, I opt for a very casual placement of the olives and anchovies. Many cooks prefer laying out formal patterns – a lattice of anchovy with an olive in the center of each section, for example. Vive la différence, eh? No matter which you prefer, I am sure you’ll be making this provençal onion tart again and again.
And now, chers lecteurs, without further delay – Martha Stewart’s Pissaladière.
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- All purpose flour
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
- 1/4 C oil-cured olives pitted and halved lengthwise
- 4-6 anchovy fillets rinsed
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter with oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden and soft, about 10 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to an 8 1/2-by-15-inch rectangle, trimming edges to make them straight. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, transfer to oven, and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until pastry just begins to puff, about 12 minutes.
- Arrange onions in a single layer over pastry, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Top with olives and anchovies (if desired). Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, and continue baking until tart is puffed and golden around the edges, about 15 minutes more (tent with foil if crust browns too quickly). Let cool slightly before cutting into small squares and serving.