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Twin PissaladiÈres
© Miki Duisterhof

Twin Pissaladières

  • SERVINGS: MAKES TWO 8-INCH TARTS
  • MAKE-AHEAD

You may think, as writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins did for years, that pissaladière is just the Provençal name for onion pizza. Actually the word comes from pissala, a salted-fish concoction from Nice that's used as a savory topping for bread dough or pastry. This recipe is meant as a jumping-off point—let your own tastes dictate the toppings.

Dough

  1. 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  2. 1/4 cup lukewarm water (105°- 115°)
  3. About 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  4. 1 large egg, beaten
  5. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Topping

  1. 1 1/2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
  2. 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  3. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 8 large plum tomatoes—4 peeled, seeded and chopped, 4 sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  5. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 20 Niçoise or Gaeta olives, halved and pitted
  7. Basil leaves, torn
  8. 8 whole salt-packed anchovies (see Note), rinsed and filleted, or 16 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
  1. In a small bowl, stir the yeast into the water and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Put 1 1/2 cups of the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the egg and olive oil to the well and start to incorporate the flour. As you mix, stir in the dissolved yeast. Continue mixing until a supple bread dough forms; you may need to add a little more flour or water as you mix.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few minutes, until silky smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside while you make the topping.
  3. In a heavy saucepan or casserole, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil over low heat, stirring often, until thoroughly softened and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll each piece out to an 8-inch round about 1/4 inch thick. (The rounds need not be regular in shape; in fact, irregularity is part of the charm.) Transfer each round to a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
  5. Pinch around the edges of the dough to make very slightly raised borders. Spread the onion mixture over both dough rounds. On 1 tart, arrange the anchovy fillets in a lattice pattern and set the olives within the squares. On the other tart, scatter the sliced tomatoes and basil. Sprinkle both tarts with salt and pepper and bake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the crusts are golden around the edges and the toppings are bubbling and beginning to brown. Cut into wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.
Make Ahead The dough and the onion topping can be refrigerated separately overnight. Let both come to room temperature before assembling the tarts. Notes Salt-packed anchovies are available at Greek and Italian markets, and their flavor and texture are worth the extra fuss. Rinse under running water, then separate each into 2 fillets, discarding the spine and any fins or tail pieces.
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