Golden hour, warm sunny days begin, welcome Spring with a rustic little jewel – Pissaladière Provençal, a French take on pizza.
The warm sun has already begun to take aim at the desert Southwest. Although we don’t change the clocks here, Spring forward has already begun via mother nature. The dry, often intense weather of the desert, north along the mountains edge, reminds me bit of of the dry, rugged region of Provençe. Here too, tile roofs, thick walls and large patios shelter us from the heat. As well, a piece of produce picked fresh in the am will be wilted in a matter of hours at the farmer’s market, thank goodness for insulated market bags. Even as the weather warms in Spring, it can still sport cool nights, perfect for a savory, rustic tart, like Pissaladière Provençal. The real beauty of this little jewel recipe is that it relies on pantry items, via tins, tubes and jars filled with savories, along with a quick 15-minute crust, all the ingredients ready and waiting in your pantry.
Pissaladière originates in the Nice region of France. I enjoyed many versions on my visits to France, so much so that I came up with my own Bijouxs quick-take. The traditional version of this tart is a crust, topped with gently sautéed onions and anchovies, as simple as that, of course variations abound. I include a very thin layer of tomato paste concentrate to the base of the crust, along with sliced fresh garlic and black olives. This is a crispy, salty-sweet rustic tart, great with a cool glass of Rose and a simple green salad, perfect for lunch or a light dinner. I also bake this tart using puff pasty and slice into small squares as an appetizer.
Some thoughts on preparing pissaladière. The onions for the topping are first cooked on the stovetop over a low heat, until soft, but not browned, seasoned with classic Herbes de Provence. The majority of cooking will take place as the tart bakes, in a medium oven, which produces a crisp crust, with the toppings of onion and anchovy melding together. The garlic roasts becoming sweet, punctuated by salty bits of olive. Toppings are arranged in a simple lattice pattern, there is no lack of flavor in this rustic jewel, it comes through in every bite. Of course, adjust the toppings to suite your own taste.
Welcome Spring with a savory little jewel – rustic Pissaladière Provençal.