Pissaladière: Like A Pizza That Has Grown Wings And Gone To Heaven

Pissaladière is so unbelievably delicious that both Italian Ligurians and French Niçois like to claim they invented this snack. Personally I am just delighted that someone did. It is often made with pizza dough but I make it with puff pastry and have added pink peppercorns and delicate chervil leaves to further enhance the flavour.

Pissaladière: Like A Pizza That Has Grown Wings And Gone To Heaven

Recipe by GraceCourse: Main MealsDifficulty: Easy

The only thing you really need to pay attention to is caramelising the onions – it takes about 40 minutes of slow cooking to get them meltingly good. You can add mozzarella as they do in San Remo, but I think this is divine enough without cheese. The combination of soft sweet onions, salty anchovies and the savoury firmness of the black olives is almost too good to be true. It is all I can do to stop myself rushing into the kitchen to make another batch. 

Perfect for two as a pizza type supper, or 6 as a starter snack…


  • 3 – 4 large onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 1 sheet of ready made puff or shortcrust pastry (approximately 25 x 25cms)

  • 2 x 60g/2oz tins anchovies, drained

  • Pitted whole black olives, halved

  • A little milk to glaze

  • Optional: pink peppercorns

  • Optional: Fresh chervil or parsley


  • In a saucepan, melt the butter and oil and gently fry the onions until they are golden and caramelised. It is worth doing this on a very low heat for about an hour. The onions will be absolutely gorgeous if you take your time. Season with lots of freshly grounded pepper and sea salt flakes and set aside the onions to cool.
  • Put a flat baking sheet in a 190 degree oven until it is hot, which will ensure the bottom of the pastry is crisp (don’t want soggy bottoms now do we).
  • Pop the sheet of pastry onto baking parchment (ready made puff usually comes with the baking parchment). With a blunt knife, lightly score a narrow border around the four edges of the pastry. Spread the (slightly cooled) onion within the border and then add strips of anchovy in a diamond pattern with an olive in the centre of each. Or, if you prefer, just cover the onions with randomly scattered anchovies and olives – it won’t affect the taste!
  • Brush the border with milk and carefully transfer the tart/baking paper onto the hot baking sheet (oven gloves are a good idea). Put on the top shelf of your oven for anything from 15 – 30 mins until the anchovies have practically melted and the pastry base is crisp.
  • Optional: sprinkle over pink peppercorns and/or finely chopped chervil. If you have the patience of a saint, allow the tart to cool before tucking in. If there is any left over, it tastes just as scrumptious cold as when warm.

Cook’s Tip

  • Worth every calorie

Anchovies are like Marmite – people love them or hate them. If, like me, you love them, do try this wonderful Piedmont Pepper recipe