Just over the border from Italy, in the south of France, they have their own version of pizza – Pissaladière. This too is perfect for eating outdoors, perhaps cut into smallish portions for serving with pre-barbecue drinks (some chilled rosé would be the perfect match).
|For the filling:|
|about 4 tablespoons olive oil|
|2 lb (900 g) large onions, thinly sliced|
|1 fat clove garlic, crushed|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|For the dough:|
|8 oz (225 g) strong white flour, plus a little extra|
|1 level teaspoon salt|
|1 level teaspoon dried herbs of Provence|
|1 level teaspoon brown sugar|
|1 level teaspoon dried yeast|
|freshly milled black pepper|
|For the topping:|
|2 oz (50 g) tin anchovy fillets in oil|
|about 1 dozen black olives, halved and pitted|
|1 level teaspoon mixed dried herbs|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a Swiss roll tin, 13 x 9 inches (33 x 23 cm), brushed with oil.|
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course.
Make the filling first by heating the oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the onions and crushed garlic, then cook them over a gentle heat (uncovered) for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions have just about formed a soft mass and show a tendency to stick to the base of the pan. Then take the pan from the heat and taste and season with salt and freshly milled pepper.
While the onions are cooking you can combine the flour, the level teaspoon salt, herbs and some freshly milled pepper together in a bowl. Pour 5 fl oz (150 ml) hand-hot water into a separate bowl and, using a fork, whisk in the sugar followed by the yeast. Leave on one side for 10 minutes to froth, then pour this into the flour mixture. Add a further 1 fl oz (25 ml) of hand-hot water and mix to form a dough. Knead well for about 10 minutes until it's silky smooth and fairly elastic.
Then turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and roll out roughly to an oblong shape 13 x 9 inches (33 x 23 cm). Place it in the tin, pushing it up the sides and into the corners with your fingers. Then brush the dough with some extra olive oil, cover with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place for 20-30 minutes to rise a little.
Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C). Now spread the cooked onion filling over the base. Drain the tin of anchovies: reserve the oil and slice the fillets in half lengthways. Arrange them in a diamond shaped pattern (like lattice work) all over the onion filling, and stud each diamond with a halved, pitted olive.
Sprinkle with the herbs and drizzle the reserved anchovy oil over the lot. Bake on a high shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Serve hot or cold.
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If you have an aversion to kneading and proving dough, you'll love this recipe, made with scone dough for speed and ease. Vary the toppings according to what you like or need to use up. Either way, it's a real winner!
These pizza bases are the real thing, made in the Le Marche region of Italy with long fermentation, then stone-baked with a brushing of passata, but any favourite pizza base will do.
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