Pissaladière is a classic French dish that originated in Nice in the South of France. It is a tart similar to a pizza but the crust is thicker. It is traditionally topped with caramelised onions, olives and anchovies and I have kept to that tradition. You can serve it as an appetiser and I think it is a great dish to serve as a snack to nibble on with drinks.PissaladièreEven if you do not like olives or anchovies. And those are both ingredients that I have no major love for. But the combination of the sweet onions works so well with the saltiness of the olives and anchovy, balancing sweet and salty in the most delicious way.PissaladièreAccording to Jacques Medecin, former mayor of Nice and an authority on its cuisine, the layer of onions on a pissaladiere should be half as thick as the crust. The pissaladière is traditionally made with a yeasted bread type dough (similar to pizza) but I simplified and tweaked the recipe (apologies to mr Medecin and Nice). Instead of the bread base I made a  scone dough, an idea I got from Hilary Biller who is the editor of the Sunday Times Food Weekly.

I added some grated parmesan cheese for added richness to the dough and it worked really well. Caramelising the onions is the part of the recipe that takes the most time. Making the scone dough is easy and then it is just adding the topping ingredients and baking the tart. Best to serve hot with a wedge of lemon as it comes out of the oven but I had it cold after photographing and it was still absolutely delicious.


The pissaladière will also make a great lunch or dinner, served with a crunchy fresh salad

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  • Base:
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 55g butter
  • ¼ cup finely grated mature hard cheese like parmesan
  • 120ml full cream milk
  • Topping
  • 50ml Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 750g large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 fat clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g anchovy fillets in oil
  • pitted and halved black olives


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 210°C
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  3. Cook the garlic in the oil over a medium heat until soft
  4. Add the onions and herbs and cook uncovered over a medium high heat for about 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown
  5. Season with black pepper and set aside
  6. Sift the flour into a large bowl
  7. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and stir in the cheese
  8. Add the milk slowly and use a fork to bring it all together to make a soft dough that does not stick to the bowl
  9. Roll out into a rectangle on a floured surface and carefully roll the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll onto the lined baking tray
  10. Use your hands to shape the dough to cover the baking tray and cut off any parts of dough hanging over the edge
  11. Spoon the fried onions on top of the dough
  12. Drain the anchovies and arrange in a diamond shaped pattern over the onion filling
  13. Stud each diamond with a halved olive
  14. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tart is golden brown and the dough is cooked though.
  15. Cut into squares and serve immediately
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This recipe first appeared in the Sunday Times Food Weekly

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