This weekend I went with a group of new friends to Carmel Beach, about a 2 hour drive south of San Francisco. The sun was hot and the sea cold (which I knew it would be, as its the same temperature as New Zealand sea!) and our happy party of 3 Americans, 4 French and a lone Kiwi had a great time BBQing, eating and watching dolphins.
This recipe is based on David Lebovitz' version in his new book "My Paris Kitchen", which I am enjoying reading as much as cooking from. Talented man that one. He is in The Bay Area this week, unfortuantly I wont be able to see him to sign my copy (that I had pre-ordered in London, and posted to San Francisco to be waiting for me on my arrival) as I will be in New Zealand on saturday but one day, im sure I will get all my David Lebovitz collection signed!
Based on David Lebovitz's recipe from "My Paris Kitchen"
3/4 cup tepid water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
6 large onions
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary
good pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 small Jar of good quality sardines (I used about 10 sardines)
Around 30 black olives (I used 27, Niçoise if you can find them, otherwise kalamata or something similar)
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsely to serve.
Start by preparing the base of the Pissaladière. In a bowl (by hand or in your stand mixer bowl + dough hook) mix together the water, 1/2 cup of the flour, yeast and 1 tsp of sugar. Let sit until lots of little bubbles appear on the surface.
Sir in the rest of the flour, olive oil and salt and knead for around 5 minutes, either by hand or mans friend the machine.
Using the same bowl,take the dough out, oil the inside and put the dough back in. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a nice warm place until its doubled in size (I find 1 1/2 hours is good but you might be lucky with less)
While your dough is happily rising, thinly slice all of the onions - if you have a mandoline, this is where it pays for itself!
Heat a large frying pan or a Le Creuset type dish with 3 tablespoons (or a good slosh if youre feeling recklace) of olive oil. Toss in the garlic, rosemary, salt and all the onions. Cook while stirring fairly frequently for about 40 minutes, adding more olive oil if it gets dry. At this point, add the sugar and cook further until a perfect golden brown and a soft confit texture.
Take your sardines and cut each one lengthwise, into 2 or 3 long thin strips, depending on how thick they are. I do this because it can get a little too overwhelmingly sardiney if you use whole sardines in this tight criss cross pattern, which of course you MUST adhere to. Or Not. Whatever. But im all for geometric patterns in food.
Roll out your dough onto floured baking paper (on a baking tray) in a rectangular shape (David recommends oval shape so you can make you own informed decision!) about 15 x 11 inches, though could stand to be a bit bigger I think. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Spread the dough base with the onions and lay out the sardines in a criss cross pattern. In each sardine square place a whole olive.
Bake for around 20 minutes in a 200C or 400F oven.
Scatter with the chopped parsley and serve with your favourite chilled rosé - or if the situation calls for it, a luke warm and slightly sandy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.