A Return To Savory Baking: Pissaladière


At last, something that won't give me a toothache.

There’s been a whole lot of dessert going on in my tiny apartment kitchen. Cupcakes, turnovers, more cupcakes, ice cream, Oreos – it’s been a regular sugar fest.

So this Sunday, I went down a savory path. I was inspired by that deconstructed vichyssoise pizza over at The Arugula files, so my mind was already turning to pizza. And as I was flipping thorough “Barefoot In Paris,” Ina Garten’s Paris-themed cookbook, I spotted a recipe for Pissaladière. Also called “Provencal Pizza,” it consists of a flatbread topped with sauteed onions, garlic, olives, and anchovies. It looked perfect.

Now, I am an adventurous eater, but eating plain anchovies on pizza is too much for me (even the anchovy-topped pizza at 2Amys isn’t to my taste – and I trust in their ingredients). So I skipped them, and just had the olives and onions. I wasn’t able to find really good quality olives in the Giant (surprise, surprise), so I settled for regular Kalamata’s. They were fine, but I bet a really nice oil-cured olive would have been better. The onions, however, were fabulous – you cook them over the stove before placing them on the pizza, and they go all soft and sweet and silky.

The crust, however, was a little disappointing. I usually love Ina Garten’s recipes – especially for baked items – but the crust was a little too bready, yeasty and soft for my taste. I know that part of it is my oven, but I also think the recipe is over-leavened – an entire packet of yeast to two cups of flour seems like a lot to me. I think I still prefer The Bread Bible’s pizza crust – even in my crappy oven, it still turns out light, airy, and crispy.

Still, the sweet streak has been broken, thank goodness. And this was a lovely savory recipe to break it with.

Pissaladiere 2

I'm totally using those onions as a pizza topping again.

Get the recipe for Pissaladière over at The Food Network.



  1. mary said

    This might be against the rules, but I buy my pizza dough at Trader Joe’s. It’s 99 cents and it tastes great. At that price, depending on how much you pay for yeast and flour, Trader Joe’s could be cost-effective, espcieally considering the opportunity costs of how long it takes to make dough from scratch. Plus I can buy a few, store them in my freezer, and pull them out when I’m ready.

    • moderndomestic said

      Thanks for the tip – I’ve heard good things about the TJ’s pizza dough. For me it’s more an issue of convenience – I never go to TJ’s because it’s a pain to get down there, so it’s actually more “convenient” for me to just make the dough from scratch. But I know that not everyone always keeps all the ingredients (like, say, yeast) on hand.

  2. Laetitia said

    No anchovies for a dish whose name means salted fish?? Sacrilegious!! Looks beautiful though.
    And yes, I’m a big anchovy lover, especially with olives and on a pizza at Matchbox!

    • moderndomestic said

      I know, I know. Sacrilegious!

      Like I said – I love anchovies in things, like ceasar salad dressing and tomato sauce. But it’s just too much to have them on things – like pizza.

  3. Laetitia said

    Try the marinated anchovies at La Tasca one day… they might reconcile you with anchovies.

  4. Rebecca said

    First off the pizza looks delicious. Sauteed onion saltiness is a sure fire way to culinary success in my book.

    You know I really think people who say they don’t like olives (my husband) just had a bad store brand olive experience that scarred them for life. A good trip to the Whole Foods olive bar is so worth it.

    • moderndomestic said

      I loved black olives as a kid – it took me awhile to develop a taste for the really nice ones. I think part of it is loving salt and strong flavors, and some people just can’t do it.

      Have you ever tried to give him good olives and see what he says?

      • Rebecca said

        No he just won’t have anything to do with olives. He picks them out of salad, off pizza, etc. Except once Michelle made delicious chicken with green olives and I was floored because he ate the whole thing and asked for seconds! This is what makes me think he had a mental distaste for olives rather than a physical distaste. It was dark that night and I’m not sure he knew what he was eating but he liked it.

        I’ve tried sneaking things he doesn’t like into food, but he is suspicious of me.

  5. Phil said

    I’m the same way. Olives are one of my favorite foods, I love capers and other salty/briny things so I always think I’ll like anchovies. Whenever I eat them whole, I just don’t enjoy them. Maybe I should try some really good quality ones before dismissing them entirely.

    • moderndomestic said

      Yes, I’ve also wondered if I just need to try the “good” anchovies. One of my cookbooks (The Naked Chef, I think) has a recipe for roasting fresh anchovies too, and that’s always been very tempting. Now if I could figure out where to get good seafood in DC . . .

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