French Fridays with Dorie: Pissaladiere

is anyone surprised I didn't put an egg on top? I thought about it.

My Dad loves anchovies. In the late 80s/early 90s he was a specialty food broker. I remember having dinner with him one night in our favorite Italian restaurant. While sitting at the bar having pre-dinner cocktails (humm, ’80s. So mine would have been a Stoli and tonic. Can’t quite remember his.) he asked the owner, whom we both knew, if she would have someone in the kitchen open a can of anchovies he brought with him (presumably from work). He sat at the bar and proceeded to spread them on bread and snack with delight. I’ll admit that I turned up my nose.

Having spent the weekend dousing nearly everything I cooked with most of a bottle of nam pla, the pungent salty fermented fish sauce ubiquitous in Thai cooking, the idea that I would turn up my nose again at anchovies seems a bit absurd. So I headed off to Trader Joe’s to see what little fishes in cans were available. I ended up with the smallest can of Cento anchovy fillets (2 oz) in olive oil, packed in Morocco. Bright yellow can, so happy looking, lightens my negative anchovy thoughts.

At home I saute the onions and seasonings, mix in the finely chopped anchovies and top my flat breads with the mixture. Bake, and cut. First bite, sweet caramelized onions and an underlying fishiness. Not unpleasant, but distinct. The briny, sharpness of the olives cuts through the onion. Something is missing. Ah yes, a glass of white wine. Somehow the wine, the onion and the olives balance out the anchovy. I enjoy the second half of the pissaladiere much more, but overall I have to agree with D – we are underwhelmed. Nice, maybe a pleasant starter for a meal. I can’t say the fault lies with the recipe – I riffed off of Dorie’s suggestion to use puff pastry and went with a low cal/low carb flat bread we regularly use as a pizza base. The traditional pissaladiere dough is likely a better foil for the topping.

My Notes:

Half the recipe tops one Flat Out light flat bread. The bread has been brushed with olive oil on the bottom and lightly baked, about 5 minutes at 350.

I found that my onions started to dry out before they were browned, so I added about a tablespoon of water 3/4ths of the way through cooking.

Once topped, total baking time was only 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Its topped with some chopped Kalamata olives: our local Whole foods carries Nicoise olives, but I never made it over there this week.

And no extra anchovies on top. I thought the three I put in the topping were quite far enough for my first taste.

I am looking for more ideas for the rest of the anchovies! Hopefully the rest of the FFwD crew will have some ideas after this week….we aren’t publishing recipes from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. Get a copy and join in!


About Tasty Mayhem

Love to eat, cook, write. Try to think of witty things to say about the world but my thoughts are consumed by food. Mostly.
This entry was posted in Appetizers, French Fridays with Dorie, Miscellaneous and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Pissaladiere

  1. Your pissaladiere looks tasty! Great post!


  2. Alice says:

    I think the anchovies in the onions made the most flavorful accompaniment, the ones on top were more for indulgence and garnish but still tasty I thought 🙂


  3. Great post! Love the fish sauce too, but not the anchovies….

    Happy French Friday!


  4. gaaarp says:

    Looks great! I loved the anchovies in the onions, but I skipped them on top, too, and went with sundried tomatoes. Either way, it was delicious!


  5. Elaine says:

    Wine! Yes, that was missing from our dinner, sadly! Your pissaladiere looks delicious.


  6. Teresa says:

    Yes, a glass of wine would have made this a perfect appetizer!


  7. Funny how you say your onions dried out… I thought mine took so much time to caramelize because of the water content of the onion itself! That TJ’s crust sounds great too.


  8. Jill says:

    I’m OK with anchovies if they’re mixed into something, but I’ve never cooked with them before. This does sound like a good appetizer. LOVE Flat Out! I buy it all the time!


    • Tasty Mayhem says:

      I think the sundried tomato ones are the best. the store was out, so these are Italian herb, my second favorite. Jill,your pizza crust would be great with this topping and some arugula salad.


  9. Cher says:

    I love the thought of your dad bringing his own tin of anchovies into the restaurant. That is epic.
    A good glass of wine rounds out almost any dish, right 🙂
    Have a great weekend.


    • Tasty Mayhem says:

      If we hadn’t been so friendly with the owner, I’m sure I would have been mortified. Honestly, at that point in our lives, this place was a second home. It was my co-workers have a drink on our night off spot, cocktails before going out spot, go-to dinner spot, and the place where dad took me to dinner to tell me he was getting married to his current wife. Opening can of anchovies at the bar? Par for the course. 🙂


  10. Betsy says:

    I love the story of you and your dad in the bar. I loved the topping on this. There’s nothing like caramelized onions. I always seem to have the rest of a can of anchovies in the fridge. I use them to make a eggless Caesar salad dressing. Or you could make some tapenade.


  11. Thanks for sharing your story, sounds like you had an idyllic foodie childhood :-). I left out the anchovies but the tuna and salmon substitutes held up well, and yes, they weren’t as fishy-smelling as anchovies and nam pla!


    • Tasty Mayhem says:

      My parents would chuckle at the word “idyllic” but it was great to have parents who liked to cook and eat interesting foods. I like your substitutes…I’m thinking about adding tuna to the pumpkin recipe this week – it might sound odd, but I grew up eating something similar, but it had tuna and olives in the stuffing.


  12. Kathy says:

    Enjoyed the story of you and your dad. I could not bring myself to eat the anchovies…they are just not at all appealing to me. Your pissaladiere looks very tasty! Glad you enjoyed it!


  13. Eileen says:

    haha–my crust came out like a baked Flat Out wrap, now that I think of it. You got the same result in 1/20th of the time. Good for you.

    I’m planning to make a caesar dressing with my bit of leftover anchovies. Just an idea for you. I have no idea what else to do with them. ha!


  14. Kayte says:

    You are all going over to the “other side” on this anchovy business…I stand firmly in the other camp, not crossing over anytime soon. That said, yours looks wonderful and I think I am going to make this with just the onions and black olives because it sounds too good not to. I’ll send you my anchovies! lol


  15. I’m still wavering on the whole anchovy issue. I’m trying to decide if I want to give them another chance. I have an extra tin in the pantry. Is there another Dorie recipe that uses anchovies?


  16. Krissy says:

    Food brings amazing memories to the table, and now to the blog. Thanks for sharing. I found that this recipe makes lots; even the dough made at least 3 pizzas when rolled thin…and it puffed up nicely so I don’t think I’d want it thicker. I used to like anchovies in Italian salads, but it’s been such a long time that I don’t know if I could not them again…not as brave as I used to be.


  17. Cakelaw says:

    This looks terrific! The colour of the onions is magnificent.


  18. OMG YES! I did the puff pastry version but I most certainly WILL make this again with dough crust and an EGG on top. Oh yes I will!


  19. Nice work!! Enjoyed your little story. 🙂


  20. Tricia S. says:

    I really enjoyed your sharing those “80’s” memories of being at the bar with your Dad. Very cool. And kudos for trying the anchovies. I chickened out. Nana and I will be making this recipe with different toppings over Thanksgiving. And wine will definitely be involved 🙂


  21. Karen says:

    I enjoyed the story of your Dad bringing his own anchovies to the restaurant. Your onions look beautifully caramelized!


  22. jora says:

    What a great opening story! Your dad sounds very cool.


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