la veritable pissaladiere and other lies….


That which some believe to be an unimpeachable truth will always be questioned or pilloried by others who believe that their own version of that unimpeachable truth is clearly so much truer than the other unimpeachable claptrap. At this time our society is so at odds with one another that the only common ground  we share may well be the declaration that Coca Cola is the real thing, which truism suggests that the nuclear family of man only exists on the edge of the very worst scenario of fusion. But, before we self immolate, I have something to say about onions which does not include the world being a great big one which concept makes sense only in the amount of tears that are shed upon it. On the morning in question it only took one quick look in the fridge and a glance at the vegetable bowl on the worktop to tell me that my options were limited but within those limits resided the makings of a delicious but controversial dish. As with the recipes for bouillabaisse and cassoulet, there is little agreement as to the identity of la veritable pissaladière. Pissala, a Nicoise condiment, is hard , more correctly, impossible to make unless one is an inhabitant of the area so, being fresh out of poutines, my pissaladière is made sans pissala. It is also made without a base of bread dough,  is not garnished with olives and suffers the indignity of the addition of a thin layer of an intense tomato sauce. So, nothing like pissaladière you might say  for which insult I would have to wrap the whole tart around your face….that’s how we proceed on the great big onion. No wonder it’s a vale of tears. However unveritable as an echte pissaladière this tart may be, it is a veritable delight in the mouth which is the whole point of cooking….isn’t it…I don’t want to have to hit you again so let’s just agree…that’s diplomacy. The veritable secret of this tart is the time spent melting the onions, with plenty of olive oil,  in a thick based pan. This can take, and indeed took me, over an hour of gentle stirring, prodding and swearing at the intransigence of the onion family for taking so long to melt into a bronzed sweet savoury perfection. During this process I had prepared a disc of shop bought, puff pastry by incising, with a sharp knife, a circle just inside the outer edge of the pastry and then cooking the pastry in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. The pastry, now with a puffed up outer edge, cooled on a rack as the onions softened. A small amount of very good tomato sauce remained from a pasta dish enjoyed the night before and that remnant was spread as a thin layer on the pastry before spreading the melted onions on top. The tart went back n the oven for a further 20 minutes and when it had cooled I garnished it with anchovies and capers. If not veritable , certainly very good….and probably much better than your version…or yours…


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2015, anchovies, Baking, capers, Cooking, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Humour, Mediterranean food, Olive oil, olives, pasta, Photography, puff pastry, seafood, tart, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to la veritable pissaladiere and other lies….

  1. Sally says:

    Need a slice of that now – ain’t that the truth.

  2. ardysez says:

    Indisputably better than mine. 🙂

  3. Mad Dog says:

    I bet you sobbed with joy as you swallowed each morsel 😉

  4. lyndaadling says:

    Always cheering to read your posts, and so made me want, no need to make this. It has made me really hungry now and its only 10.30 am.

  5. A veritable delight!

  6. Eha says:

    Well since you have managed to eat all of one of my favourite tarts before I got ‘there’ it but remains for me to be rather pleased with myself that my five years of high school French, shall we say a while ago, sufficed to read all of your Wikipedia link and manage to understand way more than would be believed . . . and that after an 11-hour work day just finishing . . . . first time I had ever tried to open it in the language since I went on line . . . must try again 😀 !! Good night Milord!!!

    • I’m very impressed, Eha. La poutine does not make for exhilarating reading and to have battled on through it after an 11 hour day deserves some sort of reward…maybe a slice of pissaladiere:)

      • Eha says:

        *smile* The fact that I ruddy well managed to reduce a page in French into paragraphs understood, then sentences and then mostly correct vocabulary made it quite ‘exhilarating’ thank you kind Sir!! Besides my ‘food French’ is more than passable methinks!!! But I’ll remember to drop in for a slice of pissaladiere if I ever get to wander around the Vendee!!

      • ..and you’d be welcome:)

  7. Between the onions and the anchovies, I know some may think that this can also be a divisive dish but I enjoy your diplomatic approach 🙂

  8. Sue says:

    That sounds a seriously delicious variation on the theme – I just might have to make one myself…

  9. Conor Bofin says:

    I’ve never cooked one. If I did, it might be better than yours. Or, perhaps not…

  10. Lovely um, “pizza” you have there! I applaud you in your honesty about how long it takes to make the onions properly! It looks as if it was worth the wait!

  11. I can taste the onions mingled with th salty anchovies and the buttery crust, a veritable delight indeed. Guten Appetit!

  12. chef mimi says:

    My first pissaladiere was at a picnic somewhere north of Nice. It was an authentic one, but there’s something about eating outside in France, in perfect weather, with perfect wine… sigh

  13. Effing sexy shit my friend 😜

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