Published March 1, 2004.
Pissaladière, the classic olive, anchovy, and onion pizza from Provence, is easy enough to prepare, but each ingredient must be handled just so.
In our initial recipe testing, crusts ranged from traditional pizza-style to store-bought puff pastry. As for toppings, almost all of the caramelized onions were dreadfully underdone, while the bullish flavor of anchovy often overran the black olives and thyme.
Pissaladière is Provencal street food, a fragrant, pizzalike tart prized for its contrast of salty black olives and anchovies against a backdrop of sweet caramelized onions and thyme. Supporting this rough and rustic flavor combination is a wheat-flavored crust with a texture that falls between a chewy pizza, crisp cracker, and sturdy tart shell.
Use the food processor for a pizzalike dough with a crackerlike exterior and a decently chewy crumb, a dough with the structure to stand up to the heavy toppings. Use a combination of high and low heat for the caramelized onions, and add a bit of water before spreading them on the crust to keep them from clumping. Place the onions on top of the chopped black olives, anchovies (whole anchovies are too overpowering), and fresh thyme leaves to protect them and prevent overcooking. Diehard fish lovers can add more anchovies as a garnish.list of recipes