Artichoke Pissaladiere

Say it slowly with me.

Pee-sah-lah-DYEHR.

Now give it a French accent and you’ve got it.

Pissaladiere is a French tart style pizza with onions, anchovies, and olives. My American taste buds were confused the first time I took a bite into this pissaladiere – where’s the melted cheesy goodness?  I took a few more bites for the sake of eating the tasty toppings but was completely disatisfied.

In my frustration, I made another makeshift but tried-and-true pizza. This time with mozzarella, prosciutto, pancetta and basil chiffonades. Dinner was redeemed and the pissaladiere went into the fridge and out of sight.

The next day I was curious to try the pissaladiere again – perhaps I was too judgmental and needed to give it a second chance. A few minutes in the toaster and I took a bite, and another, and another…until it was all gone. The flavors blended in together and lunch was a success.

So my suggestion? Don’t make this with the hopes of tasty melted oozy cheesy goodness. This is a much more delicate “pizza” and seems better served as an appetizer. The combination of olives, caramelized onions, and artichokes is delicious.

Pssst. I find myself adding a 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese to the base of the pizza to satisfy the need for cheese. Yes, I am stubborn.

Ingredients

1 lb purchased pre-made pizza dough (Trader Joes often sells these in the refrigerated section)
1 large onion, sliced
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of marinated artichokes (I use the Kirkland brand of marinated artichokes)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp anchovy paste (if you can’t find anchovy paste, buy canned anchovies and smoosh them with the side of a large knife until it becomes a paste)
1/2 cup pitted and halved nicoise olives
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (optional)
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt to taste
1 lemon, zested

Directions

Prepare dough for rising according to package directions

Preheat oven to 400F with a baking stone of inverted baking sheet on middle rack.

Combine onion and sugar in 2 tbsp oil over medium-low heat in a large saute pan. Cover and let the onions sweat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook until onion is golden, about 15 minutes; set aside.

Meanwhile, drained the marinated artichokes and use a paper towel to absorb any leftover oil. Cut any artichoke halves into quarters. Stir together 2 tbsp oil and anchovy paste in a small bowl. With oiled hands, shape dough into rustic thin rectangle on parchment paper placed on a pizza peel or inverted baking sheet. Brush dough with anchovy-oil mixture. If using mozzarella, sprinkle cheese evenly over dough.

Layer caramelized onions, quartered artichokes heart, and olives atop dough. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Slide pissaladiere and parchments paper onto pizza stone in oven; bake until dough is golden, about 25 minutes. Remove pissaladiere, sprinkle on Parmesan, reserved zest, thyme, and parsley; cut into 16 slices.

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