French Fridays with Dorie: Pissaladière
I love caramelized onions, so when I saw this onion, anchovy, and olive tart on the French Fridays schedule, I was excited.
Dorie said not to rush the onions. Fortunately, I was making the onions the day before, not for the next meal, so I could let them take as long as then needed. She said they could take 45 minutes or more. My onions didn’t really show any “action” for over an hour. It took them two full hours to get golden.
As much as love caramelized onions, the downside is that everything in proximity to the kitchen, like the air, and including my coat, now has that residual skunky odor of onions. I don’t know how long it will take to wear off. It is fading, but I cooked the onions on Tuesday night…
I took a shortcut with the crust. I was trying to pull this together during the week and the timing on the yeast dough just wasn’t going to work. Dorie mentioned that some people, chefs included, will make pissaladière with puff pastry. I had some in the freezer, so I went that route. I let it thaw in the refrigerator while I was at work. Then, I rolled it out to a larger rectangle to top and bake.
I also didn’t read the recipe very carefully. I spread the onions all over the top of the crust. Then I decorated it with anchovies and strewed green Picholine olives on top. Then I baked. While the tart was baking, I noticed that the recipe said to bake the onions on the crust and to add the anchovies and olives at the end, giving those ingredients just a brief visit to the oven to warm them up. Oh, well. It might have changed the texture a little, but I definitely didn’t ruin it by my lack of attention to the details.
The pissaladière made a nice light dinner and, as leftovers, a nice lunch too. I loved the contrast of the sweet onions to the salty anchovies and olives.
My only disappointment was the crust, and that was my own doing. I want to try this again with the yeasty dough. While it was easy to use the puff pastry, it seems that the brand I used (a butter-based puff pastry from Trader Joe’s) isn’t meant for further rolling. It didn’t puff and was more like pastry crust. I used the second sheet for something else last night, without rolling it, and it puffed just beautifully.
Because of the anchovies, I suspect there will be varied comments from other Doristas. You can check out what they have to say about their pissaladières at French Fridays with Dorie. If you’d like to make this yourself, I can’t give you the recipe, but you can find it in Dorie Greenspan’s bookAround My French Table. And you can play along any Friday.