Recipe: Pissaladière (Caramelized Onion Tart with Anchovies and Black Olives)

Originating from the South of France, this classic onion tart has evolved into many versions – some with or without garlic, sugar, vinegar or herbs. Traditionally the crust is made from a thick pizza-like dough and I’ve seen in served piled onto slabs of crusty, olive oil fried bread.

I’m using my favorite shortcut for the base – frozen puff pastry – a culinary cheat’s dream with its light-as-air flakiness. I’ve also made it with a commercial ready-made raw pizza crust; either way it’s a treat, bursting with robust Mediterranean flavors. I like to sprinkle it with a few drops of balsamic vinegar just before eating but it isn’t essential.

If you can’t find tiny black Niçoise olives, use dry oil-cured or Kalamata black olives. I prefer the pitted ones for safety reasons.

Pissaladiere - Caramelized Onion tart with Olives & Anchovies

Pissaladiere – Caramelized Onion tart with Olives & Anchovies

PISSALADIERE (Caramelized Onion Tart with Anchovies and Black Olives)

(Serves 4-6)


2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter

2lb (900g) of sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced

1 or two teaspoons of honey

A sprig of fresh thyme

Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

9 or 10 anchovy fillets

10- 12 black olives (preferably Niçoise, oil-cured or Kalamata but definitely not the tasteless ones from a can)

One sheet, or 8 oz (230g) of frozen puff pastry, defrosted

Balsamic vinegar to serve (optional)


Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saute pan over a medium low heat. Add the onions, thyme and honey and a good grind of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – stir everything well to combine. Turn the heat to very low and cook the onions, stirring every 15 minutes or so until they’ve softened. Turn up the heat a bit and stir more frequently until they turn golden in color – they need to caramelize, not turn brown.  This can take 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the pastry base:

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until you have a rectangle measuring about 10 x 12 inches (25cm x 30cm), or make individual rectangles.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C).

Carefully transfer the pastry to the baking sheet and brush the edges with a little beaten egg and then fold them in 1/2 inch (7mm) to create a rim. Brush beaten egg over the folded edges and prick the base all over with a fork.

Spoon the caramelized onions into the pastry. Arrange the anchovies and olives on top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

Serve warm, perhaps sprinkled with a little balsamic vinegar.


About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
This entry was posted in Fish & Seafood, Salads & Appetizers, Vegetables / Vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Recipe: Pissaladière (Caramelized Onion Tart with Anchovies and Black Olives)

  1. vigi harlow says:

    This recipe and picture reads and looks like a slice of heaven! I will definitely make this. Thank you for the great recipe.

    • Thank you! And I can tell you that I ate some warmed up today (12 mins at 350F) and it tasted every bit as good, if not better than yesterday when I first made it – so don’t be afraid to make it in advance 😉

  2. Hmm these look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make.


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