Tarte Flambée, Pissaladiere and Flamfkuchen. And what's the difference ?
They're essentially all forms of pizza, right? They are all typically round or rectangular, flat bread, crisp on the bottom, simply garnished on top, rustic and yet urbane. Mais c'est parfait.
While Pissaladiere is leavened bread with a thin, brittle crust on the bottom and, on the top, a blanket of golden sauteed onions, anchovies and olives another kind of "French pizza", is the tarte flambée of Alsace, which we gave a recipe for a few posts back, is usually served with bacon, chopped onion and a touch of the creamy cheese called fromage blanc. Both the Pissaladiere and Tarte Flambée are a study in achieving complex flavors and textures with the minimum number of ingredients. Try this version for yourself.
60 ml (¼ cup)olive oil,
500 g onions (about 4),
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced,
dried thyme - about 2 tablespoons
2 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tsp white sugar
12 anchovy fillets
16 black Niçoise olives
Use your favourite.
Mine is Jamie Oliver's involving 800 grams of strong bread flour and 200 grams of semolina flour.
Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add onion, garlic, thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat without colouring until very soft (30 minutes). Increase heat to medium, add tomato and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato breaks down, liquid evaporates and sauce is thick. Season to taste and set aside.
Preheat oven to 200 C. If you've made your own dough, then now is the time to churn your dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, knock back, then knead into a ball. Lightly flour dough, roll out to a 28cm-diameter circle and place on a lightly greased oven tray.
Now spread you onion mixture over the dough, arrange anchovies on top in a criss-cross pattern and place an olive in the centre of each diamond. Stand in a warm place and prove until slightly risen (10-15 minutes), then bake until golden (20-25 minutes).
Cut into wedges and serve with a green salad to the side.