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The vegetarian pissaladière

Eugénie Jally from France

Serves
6
Preparation
45 minutes
Cooks in
30 to 40 minutes
Country of origin
France

I hadn’t been there for a year and a half. Not that I didn’t want to go back there, see my friends, enjoy the sun, the sea,the old town and the enjoyable smells of everything I was used to, but I wanted to come back proudly with something achieved and it wasn’t quite the case.
I had lived there my whole life, for 29 years before I decided it was time to move and move on, try something new and scary. Now that it was done, my new life didn’t scare me at all but the thought of going back did…
After 8 hours of train, seeing France’s landscapes getting dryier, seeing the sea and feeling a bit emotionnal (yes I did !), the train stopped at Antibes’ trainstation. Standing with my backpack on, on the platform, I felt like it wasn’t real. You’re maybe going to ask me why and I wouldn’t really know what to answer. Maybe it was the fact that everything was standing still, nothing had moved but me.
As I was getting out of that little red building I had seen a thousand times, I got stuck. I saw the boats, my friends, the blue sky,the palmtrees and I felt like I hadn’t moved at all. The year that I had just lived just vanished .
After that blurry moment, I started to walk blindly because I knew every street, pedestrian crossing, tree, building and looked around me, nothing had changed.
From the moment I felt better, my first thought was to go in the old town and have a «pissaladière», a typical and delicious dish from the french riviera made with caramelized onions and anchovies, something I could only find there in the best bakery «Boulangerie Veziano». I ate it sitting on the stairs of an old little house painted in yellow. The first bite comforted me so much, the taste of sweet from the onions, the salt coming from the olives and this dough dripping of olive oil was just perfect. I told myself I had to make it home and asked the old lady I used to live close to, to give me her recipe, she did. And this recipe is the closest I can get to the taste as a vegetarian.

Ingredients

  • For the filling:
  • 1kg blond onions
  • Olive oil
  • Herbes de Provence
  • 1 garlic clove
  • About 10 little black olives from Nice (If you can’t find any just put black greel olives instead)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar if needed (to caramelize onions)
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the paste:
  • 125 g of firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons of soja miso
  • 4 tablespoons of mixed algaes
  • 2 tablespoons of capres
  • Seasalt
  • For the dough:
  • 230 g of flour
  • 1 bag of baking powder
  • 12 cl of milk
  • 5 cl of water
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Method

  • Let’s begin with the filling!
  • Chop the onions and put them to melt in a pan and cover them for a while
  • Let the onions sweat and get rid of their water for about 15 minutes, uncover them and let the water evaporate
  • Put some salt and pepper and add 5 tablespoons of olive oil, herbes de Provence, the garlic clove and the sugar
  • Let it be cooked on low heat until the onions are tender, blond and glowy. This must be cooked slowly and on low heat, you don’t want to burn them as they make the dish!
  • Let’s continue with the salty paste!
  • The pissaladière is usually made with anchovies and sardines paste called “pissalat” and that’s really good I won’t lie… But as I came to eat less and less meat and fish, I decided to find a way to make pissaladière without fish but as good as it is supposed to be! Oh yeah, and I found it! So here are the steps
  • Cut the tofu into pieces andput it in a blender with the miso, the algaes, the capres, a tablespoon of olive oil and the seasalt
  • This must be very salty, just like anchovies, so try it and add some salt and capres if you think it’s not salty enough
  • Put the paste in a bowl and let it wait for the rest to be ready
  • Let’s make the dough!
  • Put the flour, the baking powder and a pinch of salt in a big bowl and mix
  • In a glass mix the milk and the water, and add the mixture to the flour bowl. Mix all the ingredients together until nearly homogeneous and add the 6 tablespoons of olive oil and go on mixing until the dough is smooth and a little sticky
  • Put olive oil with a brush in a pie pan and put the sticky dough in the middle
  • Put some flour on top of the dough and flatten it nicely with the palm of your hand from the center to the edges until it’s plane. You may have to put flour again for the flour not to stick to your hand
  • Now spread the veggie paste on the dough. It may not be easy because the paste is kind of thick but if you put it with a fourch and spread it gently with your fingers it will be perfect!
  • Put the caramelized onions on the paste and spread them gently with a fourch.
  • The last thing you have to do is put olives on top of the pissaladière and there you go, it just has to be baked!
  • Preheat your oven on 210° for 10 minutes and put the pissaladière in it for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on your oven) The dough has to be crunchy on the outside and moisty on the inside.
  • Enjoy!!!

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