Sunday, August 8, 2010

Taking the pissaladiere

If you're easily shocked foodwise, stop reading now. From time to time, instead of starting from scratch with the yeast and flour and blah blah, I buy ready-made pizza bases. Problem is, they don't work very well. So when my friend Camille told me to buy the thin Turkish ones instead because they make a much nicer thin crispy base, I listened.   
Tonight I decided to try one of these out. I didn't want to start with the usual tomato stuff, so instead I came up with a sort of modified pissaladiere, the famous Provencal tart made with fresh yeast dough covered in soft onion, anchovies and black olives. There's a recipe for it in the lovely New Zealand Vegetable Cookbook, which was launched on Friday (it's by Lauraine Jacobs, Ginny Grant, and Kathy Paterson, Random House, $49.99 - why don't they just say $50, I wonder?)
            Of course it would be much better to start with the fresh dough. I know that. But sometimes life gets in the way of food. And this was for dinner, so I wanted something a bit more substantial than onions on top.
             I chopped the onions fine instead of slicing them, added some thyme leaves, cooked them till soft and spread them over the base. On top went a layer of grated cheese, then the usual anchovies and olives (Gamboni's oil-cured Provencal flavoured ones) and a few scraps of bacon.

 The instructions with the base were to cook it for 6-8 minutes at 200C on a preheated tray or stone, but they were wrong. You need the oven as hot as it will go. For ours this is meant to be 230C but I think it's really only 220C at best, probably less.

After 15 minutes I was too hungry to leave it in any longer, though I should have. And the bacon didn't add much. Still, for an illegitimate quickie take on its wonderfully named original, it wasn't bad at all.

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