In the Bisous and Brioche cookbook, bestselling author Laura Bradbury and cookbook author and photographer Rebecca Wellman team up to share a collection of traditional and newly developed recipes that Bradbury picked up throughout her time in Beaune, Burgundy.
For this classic pissaladière recipe, however, Bradbury travels just south of Burgundy to the Ventoux area on the border of Provence, where she tried the dish for the first time as a starter for lunch.
Bradbury says she was pleasantly surprised by the salty, briny bite of anchovies that form the criss-cross pattern across the crisply framed pastry, which is then balanced beautifully with sweetness and acidity from slowly caramelizing onions with garlic, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and wine.
“Pissaladière will forever taste to me like the South of France on a plate: the shimmering ocean, the ripe tomatoes straight from the vine, and the firm bite of black, shiny niçoise olives from the gnarled olive trees,” says Bradbury in the recipe description. “I love pissaladière warm or straight-out-of-the-fridge cold. With a big green salad, it’s one of my favorite meals.”
Classic French pissaladière
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the oil and stir to combine. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, until they are softened, 25 minutes. Add the garlic, brown sugar, balsamic, and wine and continue to cook, stirring, until the onions are browned and sticky and the liquid has all disappeared, 10–15 minutes. Season with 11/2 tsp of the thyme and some sea salt and pepper, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll out the pastry to a 10- x 17-inch rectangle that’s 1/8-inch thick. Lay it gently on the prepared sheet pan. (If you are using store-bought puff pastry, note that it comes in a variety of sizes, so you may need to press two pieces together here to fit your sheet pan.) Using a sharp knife, lightly score the pastry around the entire perimeter, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Using a fork, poke holes all over the crust so it doesn’t puff up. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tsp of water and brush over only the border of the crust.
Bake the crust until slightly browned, 10–12 minutes.
Spread the onions evenly over the crust, inside the border. Place the anchovy fillets over the onions to make squares and place an olive half inside each square.
Return to the oven for 15 minutes, just until heated through and well browned. Sprinkle with the remaining 11/2 tsp thyme. Serve hot or at room temperature.
- Serves 6–8