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.

8:00 pm

8:30 pm

9:15 pm

10:00 pm

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.

Before Baking

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.


Posted on 21 October 2011, in French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Glad you gave those slow onions a chance! Your pissaladiere looks great!

  2. Yours looks good…your onions are caramelized …I forgot to read the instructions properly and I cheated on the cooking time thus my onions are not so caramelized but it tasted great too. I love the crust with a crunchy edge. Mine looks like a pizza :p

  3. Two hours is a long long time if you’re waiting. Luckily you had enough time to prepare them. They look great after two hours though.

  4. Boy are you patient! If I my onions had taken 2 hours I think I would have called it a day, lol. Though I LOVE that onion smell : )

  5. wow! it took you a long time to golden-ize those onions! mine only took about a half hour, but then I used 3 spanish onions, so maybe thats why?… hmmm… I liked the anchovies too, they added just enough salt to the whole thing and made it tasty! :)

  6. I think your tart looks good, and that the early addition of the anchovies and olives was not a problem. Two hours to get golden onions – now that’s devotion! I would have given up way before then.

  7. Mine took almost 2 hours too, although I also prefer the taste of onions a step just beyond caramelized which might be called carbonized or maybe exterminated. Your final dish looks delicious, even if you did alter the directions a bit!

  8. My onions took about 2 hours as well. Luckily I started early! Your tart looks delicious even if you weren’t happy with the crust. Now you have an excuse to make this again!

  9. Betsy. My onions took about an hour. They came out so wonderful and I really enjoyed them…not so for the anchovies! I just couldn’t do them. Your Pissaladiere looks delicious! Have a nice weekend!

  10. Thank Goodness I’m not the only one who had onions that took more than 45 minutes! I think mine were a good two hours. My house still smells like onions three days later, even with airing it out!

    Your Pissaladiere looks pretty fantastic!

  11. I used puff pastry, too, and mine worked out great. The pastry was homemade, using Nick Malgieri’s recipe. I would make it that way again anytime. Yours looks great!

  12. I cooked the onions for about an hour and a half… I didn’t think they would take that long to caramelize! Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who added all the ingredients to the pissaladiere from the start.

  13. I think you’ll really like it with the yeast dough, Betsy. My onions took about an hour, but I have to confess with playing with the heat because I was getting a little impatient. ;) I felt the same way about the smell, but with the anchovies. I kept smelling them even the next day! I love the ‘x’ and ‘o’ pattern you made. Did Howard notice?

    Have a great weekend!

  14. My onions took quite a while, too. I was having a Dorie marathon that day, so I used the time on other recipes. The yeasted crust is great – you’ll definitely have to try it. I’m going to add some herbs to mine next time, though. It may not be traditional, but I think it will be good.

  15. Whew – I am glad it wasn’t just me. I had the flame on fairly low so I wouldn’t burn them – and then I had shut them off for a while (in which time, I couldn’t restart because there was no electric supply for the electric start on the burner). That being said – I think my actualy cooking time had to be at least an hour and a half.
    I don’t think baking the toppings hurt anything – we do it all the time when we make pizza, right? (And I love green olives. Yum)
    Have a great weekend!

  16. Well – it looks good. I prefer green olives on anything, and think I would go with that next time as well. My onions really took more than an hour, I stopped looking at the clock, but it was less than 1.5.

  17. I wasn’t that patient with my onions, well done… 2 hours! Time paid off because they look great. I used puff pastry too, it puffed but was soft in the middle. I will have to try the dough recipe.

  18. It’s amazing what patience will do! your onions are beautiful; I forced my onions out of the pan at an hour. Definitely need to add more time next time.

  19. I went the long route, and wish I’d used puff pastry. ha! This looks great. Your onions look like they were worth the wait.

  20. I used the puff pastry, but I baked it first and then added the onions and anchovies for the last ten minutes. It puffed just fine, but I wasn’t the biggest fan on the anchovies!

  21. Interesting to see the puff pastry. Your onions look great even if they left an interesting smell behind. I think you should try the dough; I’m sure you’d like it. Maybe when you get some time…and that is a hard thing to find.

  22. I think making everything in the surrounding area smell like onions is a net positive, not a negative! I think cooking the sardines might be kinda nice as long as they don’t smell up too much. I used the puff pastry on mine as it was a time issue. I will definitely make this one again.

  23. the green olives are making my mouth water … yum!

  24. I am surprised to read that it took so many folks about 2 hours to get the onions done. Wow – would not have expected that long. You can tell I didn’t make this once since I am not comparing times :) Nana did knock it out and we plan to revisit the recipe over Thanksgiving with some different toppings. I can now almost smell onion after reading your post ….:)

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