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Onions - an Essential Ingredient for Pissaladeria
Onions
an Essential Ingredient for Pissaladeria

Pissaladiera
Pissaladiera, served with salad and a bottle or two of best French red. This is a lunch that can be tossed together over a glass of your favourite French wine and kitchen conversation. The ingredients are often to hand · this season's French onions, Nīmes AOC olive oil, flour and a lettuce fresh from the garden. You could ring the changes with the pastry, use wholemeal flour, or a mixture of half and half, add a tablespoon of sunflower seeds to plain flour or try spelt flour for the base. As the pastry is made with olive oil instead of butter it is quick to toss together and improved by little handling. A leafy green lettuce provides the basis for a large green salad filled out with ripe red Rose de Berne tomatoes, coarsely chopped treats: a jar of artichoke hearts, and flageolet beans from the weekly market (drained, washed and gently warmed) and a posy fresh herbs – nasturtium leaves, young angelica leaves, fennel, parsley make a good salad mix all coarsely chopped and sprinkled over the salad along with a handful of fat green olives

The ingredients are often to hand · this season's French onions, Nîmes AOC olive oil, flour and a lettuce fresh from the garden. You could ring the changes with the pastry, use wholemeal flour, or a mixture of half and half, add a tablespoon of sunflower seeds to plain flour or try spelt flour for the base. As the pastry is made with olive oil instead of butter it is quick to toss together and improved by little handling. A leafy green lettuce provides the basis for a large green salad filled out with ripe red Rose de Berne tomatoes, coarsely chopped treats: a jar of artichoke hearts, and flageolet beans from the weekly market (drained, washed and gently warmed) and a posy fresh herbs · nasturtium leaves, young angelica leaves, fennel, parsley make a good salad mix all coarsely chopped and sprinkled over the salad along with a handful of fat green olives

Pissaladiere · Onion Pizza
Prepare the olive oil pastry base, cover and set aside while you prepare the onion filling. Anchovies could be replaced with capers and the chilli is a matter of taste.

Base:
250g plain flour
4 tablespoons Nīmes AOC olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 large egg
A little jug of warm water.

Method:
Measure 250g flour into a bowl , season with a sprinkling of freshly ground Fleur de sel de Guérande and pepper, make a well in the centre and add about 4 tablespoons of Nīmes AOC olive oil and one large egg.

Have a jug containing little warm water handy. I use a butter knife to mix the ingredients, adding warm water to create a loose scone-like dough. When the mixture holds together tip it out onto a flour-drenched baking tray pat to a thickness of just under a centimetre and set aside.

Filling:
1 kilo French garden onions
A good splash of Nīmes AOC olive oil
Fresh thyme
A couple of garlic cloves from the Lot
Nīmes Olives and anchovies
A crumbling of dried red chilli

Method:
Peel and thinly slice the onions and garlic thinly then gently fry in a very generous splash of Nīmes AOC olive oil. Fry until soft and meltingly delicious. (this should take upwards of 15 minutes). Remove from the heat, add a quarter teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves (or a good pinch of dried). Bake for 15 minutes in a hot oven (220 C) gas 7, remove from the oven decorate with black Nīmes Olives and anchovies, return to the oven for 5 minutes to finish off. When cooked the base should be crisp on the outside, soft and cooked in the middle and the topping delicious, bubbling and ready to eat.

Salad:
One fresh lettuce, rinsed and dried, leaves torn or broadly chopped and placed in a large china bowl. Drain a can of flageolet or kidney beans, rinse and shake dry, tip into the bowl. Chop sun-warmed tomatoes coarsely, drain and quarter a jar artichoke hearts, add olives and toss all together with richly flavoured Nīmes AOC olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and you have a salad ready to serve.

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