Stasha Palos's Perfect Pissaladiere
This provençal tart is a great starter, served as just a little square on a plate, as it really gets the taste buds going Admittedly, I have served just this tart with a green salad for what was supposed to be a light dinner, and we ended up damn near finishing it all.
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 large sliced onions
½ tube sun dried tomato paste
3/4 large tube tomato puree (or 1 whole small)
1 tsp or so sugar
Salt and pepper
Handful of black pitted olives
1 packet of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry (at room temp)
Glug a nice bit of olive oil into a frying pan, add the tomatoes, the chopped onion, and garlic.
Toss that around the pan till all is soft and lovely, season then turn off the heat and set aside.
Get a big heavy pan, add a hefty splash of olive oil, and a generous dollop of butter. Once the butter is foaming, add the sliced onions, turn the heat down to low/medium and cover.
Slowly cook the onions till they are meltingly soft — 15 to 20 minutes of watching and stirring, making sure the onions don’t colour and stick.
When all is soft and tender, stir in the cooked tomatoes. Next, add the purees and sugar, and taste for seasoning.
Add a splash of olive oil and keep stirring till you have what looks like marmalade chutney. Turn off the heat, and cool to room temperature.
Heat the oven to 200°C. Roll the pastry to a large rough square/rectangle and transfer to the baking sheet.
Take your fingers and gently crimp and curl up the edge of the pastry. This acts like a lip and looks good once cooked.
Spread your onions over the pastry, right up to the lip. You may have a little of the mixture leftover.
Add the anchovies and the olives evenly then bake for roughly 40 minutes. Watch it towards the end making sure it colours beautifully, without burning.
Serve warm, not hot.