Pissaladière is a French onion pizza that you can serve as an appetizer or main dish and is great both hot and cold. The secret is the slow-cooked onions, gently fried until they’re soft, sweet and caramelized. In order to make this a vegan pissaladière, I’ve replaced the traditional anchovies with strips of roasted red pepper and capers.
I couldn’t believe it when I first explained this recipe for French onion pizza to my husband and he thought it was the weirdest thing ever. “Onion pizza? Isn’t it too sweet, isn’t it too ... onion-y”, he said.
I don’t understand his hesitation; this is another great example of how simple ingredients turn into something magnificent if they’re just given a little time.
Pissaladière was invented, so the story goes, as a way for bakers to use up their leftover bread dough. That’s why the crust is thicker and softer than a traditional pizza.
It also means that it holds up well in the fridge and is great to take cold the next day as the crust won’t harden into a break-your-teeth texture.
The other thing differentiating this French onion pizza from the Italian variety is the lack of tomato sauce. Instead, the focus is on the sweet, caramelized onions which need to be slow cooked for upwards of 45 minutes to an hour.
So this isn’t one of my quick 15-minute weeknight recipes, but it’s stupid easy. Just chop a hell of a lot of onions, try not to cry, throw them in a pan and let them go. Take a glass of wine and relax on the couch while your onions caramelize, it’s totally hands-off!
Once the onions are ready, spread them over the crust and top with a criss-cross of roasted red pepper slices, olives and capers. Bake and done!
Because it’s winter, I paired my French onion tart with a simple and quick pumpkin soup that’s similar to this Minimalist Baker recipe.
For the dough
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 cup (240 ml) warm water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
For the topping
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) onions, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only, or ¼ teaspoon dried
- Half a 290-gram (10 oz) jar of roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
- 25 – 30 black olives
- 1 tablespoon capers
- Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Combine the water and olive oil in a separate bowl. Slowly add the wet to the dry, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the dough comes together into a ball, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 8 – 10 minutes until you get a soft, springy, slightly tacky dough. If it sticks to the counter, you can add a little more flour if necessary. Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil, onions, salt and thyme. Saute for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to sauté, stirring from time to time, for another 30 minutes until the onions are very soft and golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Roll the dough out on baking paper into a large rectangle the size of your baking pan. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 225°C (450°F).
- Uncover the dough and spread the onions on top. Arrange the red peppers in a criss-cross pattern, place and olive in each square and sprinkle over the capers. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the crust is brown.
- Slice and serve hot or at room temperature.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 343Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1062mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 7g