PISSAL­ADIERE NI­COISE

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES -

(Pic­tured) Serves 6.

For the filling, you will need:

900g (2lbs) onions, thinly sliced 3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs fresh rose­mary Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

For the pas­try, you will need:

225g (8oz) flour, plus a lit­tle ex­tra to flour the work sur­face 110g (4oz) but­ter 1 egg, beaten

For the top­ping, you will need:

12-16 black olives 2 x 50g (1 ¾ oz) tins of an­chovy fil­lets, drained First, cook the onions. Pour the olive oil into a wide pan on a medium heat and al­low it to get warm. Tip in the thinly sliced onions, the fresh thyme and the fresh rose­mary sprigs, sea­son with sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per, mix well, and then turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook the onions, un­cov­ered, stir­ring reg­u­larly, for about 30-45 min­utes un­til they are melt­ingly ten­der and a light golden brown.

While the onions are cooking, make the pas­try. Sift the flour into a bowl, and rub in the chilled but­ter un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles coarse bread­crumbs. Next, bring the mix­ture to­gether with half or three-quar­ters of the beaten egg — but you may need it all. The pas­try dough should not be wet and sticky, so don’t add all the beaten egg if you don’t need to. Flat­ten the pas­try to about 1cm thick (less than ½ in), cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge to chill for 20 min­utes.

Pre­heat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. While you’re wait­ing for the oven to pre­heat and the pas­try to chill, you can pre­pare the black olives by re­mov­ing the stones. You may need to bash them slightly with the flat side of a knife to help loosen the stones.

When the pas­try has chilled, place it on a floured work sur­face, and dust a lit­tle flour on top of the pas­try also. Roll it out into a rec­tan­gle that’s large enough to line the base and sides of a small Swis­s­roll tin, ap­prox­i­mately 23cm x 30cm (9in x 12in) in size. Brush off any ex­cess flour, then, with the help of the rolling pin, care­fully trans­fer the pas­try into the Swiss roll-tin (there’s no need to grease or line the tin). Trim the pas­try all around the sides at the top, en­sur­ing that the tin’s sides and base are lined with pas­try. Re­move the thyme and rose­mary sprigs from the cooled onion mix­ture and tip the cooked onions onto the pas­try. Run a spoon or a pal­ette knife over the top to en­sure the onions are smooth and level. Ar­range the an­chovy fil­lets in a criss-cross pat­tern, as in the photo, above, then place an olive in­side each di­a­mond shape.

Put the tart in the pre­heated oven and bake it for about 30 min­utes, un­til the pas­try around the sides is golden. Cut it into slices and serve it hot, or at room tem­per­a­ture.

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