Anchovies. In my experience, it’s one of those foods that people either hate or love. There doesn’t seem to be an in-between. I’m in the love camp, as I grew up eating anchovies on pizza; I’ve mentioned my Sicilian grandmother many times, and the pizza she made most often had anchovies. I learned early on, however, that eating, much less admitting to liking, anchovies, was weird, according to my friends of non-Sicilian heritage. So, I led a double life, and only ate anchovies within the safe confines of my immediate family.
Now, of course, I proudly admit to loving anchovies – in pasta, salad, and particularly, on pizza, be it Sicilian, or in today’s case, French. Pissaldiere is a pizza from the Provençal region of France. This first came to my attention about 6 years ago, when I saw it in Cook’s Illustrated
. Pissaldiere is often made with puff pastry, and as you all know my obsession with puff pastry you’re probably wondering why this is made with a pizza crust. Well, here’s the thing, there was no pastry to be had at the market. None. Why the big rush and sellout of puff pastry? I’ve no idea, but I wanted to make this today, and I wasn’t in the mood to tackle the task of making my own. Additionally, I was making my own crusty rolls anyway, so I just used 1/3 of the roll recipe to make a crust. I’m going to leave the choice of crust up to you. If you choose to use puff pastry, use the same preparation process as I did in this recipe
12-15 Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 small can anchovies, packed in olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Line a baking pan with parchment.
If you’re using the crusty rolls dough, pat out the dough on the parchment paper into desired shape – I ended up with a ovalish rectangle.
Remove the filets of anchovy from the can and break into small pieces. Reserve the anchovy oil.
Press the anchovy pieces into the dough, and measure out 2-3 teaspoons of the reserved anchovy oil.
Smear the oil over the entire surface.
Press the olives into the dough, and finish with the caramelized onions.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the fresh thyme leaves.
Serve immediately or at room temperature.