I love pizza. I love it so much that sometimes my girlfriend gets jealous by the way I look at it. Pizza and I share such a huge amount of wonderful memories that I don’t even know where to begin with. It’s always there for me. Pizza helps me celebrate when I’m happy and gives me comfort when I’m sad. It fills my tummy when I’m hungry and satisfies my cravings when they come. Over the years, I’ve eaten many pizzas in different places. I would go so far as considering myself a true pizza expert, if not by education then definitely by experience.
In a sense, pizza is like coffee. The more you add, the more you distract the attention from the craftsmanship that goes into the making. That is why I drink my coffee black, no sugar, and eat my pizza in the simplest form it comes in: Margherita – dough, (canned) tomatoes, basil, and cheese. That is everything good pizza really needs.
Every Topping Has Its Right to Exist, Except …
That being said, I would never discriminate against anyone who makes changes from the classic pizza napoletana in terms of ingredients and preparation. Except when it comes to pineapple, but that’s an issue for another time.
Neapolitans prefer their pizza lightly charred with a chewy crust, Chicagoans dig the deep dish and the southern French like to put anchovies on it. Nothing wrong with that.
And since I like to talk about pizza and anchovies come in cans, this is the perfect occasion to present you with a recipe that I’ve discovered quite recently: Pissaladière – the French answer to the question “How can we replace most parts that make up a pizza with stuff we have lying around in our pantry and still have it taste good?”
What You Need for a Delicious Pissaladière Serving 4
For the dough
- 2 tsps. active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tbsps. olive oil
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
For the toppings
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsps. butter
- 12 onions peeled and very thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 sprigs each of thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary
- Canned olives, pitted
- Canned anchovies
Let’s Do This
- Mix the yeast in a bowl of warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes. Combine with all other dough ingredients and knead for 15 minutes until the dough is super smooth. Place in a bowl and let it rest for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- While the dough is resting, put a pan on really low heat, let the butter melt, combine with the olive oil and place the onions inside. Season with a salt and pepper. You’ll want to fully caramelise the onions so that they’ll taste really sweet. This process can take up to an hour. If your onions aren’t sweet enough to caramelise the way you want them to, add a bit of icing sugar to the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 190° Celsius. Stretch out the dough into a rectangular shape and let it rest for additional 10 minutes, covered with a damp kitchen towel. Put on a thick layer of onions (i.e. all of the onions you have). Open a can of delicious anchovies and one containing black olives. Top your pissaladière with both to your liking and garnish it liberally with fresh thyme, basil, oregano, and rosemary.
- Bake the pissaladière for about 15 minutes or until the crust reaches your desired colour. Put it on a rack and let it cool a bit for the authentic experience or dig in immediately if you’re as impatient as I am and have no problem burning your mouth. 😉
Try this recipe and let me know if you like it! I’m really looking forward to your feedback.