Pissaladière the easy way

French Fridays with Dorie


  The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.


I don’t know about you but I saw a lot of irrational  ‘fear of the unknown’ out there this last week in Doritistan .    Who knew so many Doristas were going to be so afraid, so  squeamish about  something so tiny, so flavorful, as the tiny anchovy?    Where do you suppose this fear come from?

I saw some who admitted to never having tried an anchovy yet were so proud of their intent to keep it that way.  I suspect that quite a few are taught as kids that hating anchovies is the norm and they never needed to challenge themselves on it?

Their loss.    I had never had a Pissaladière but I couldn’t wait to try it.    I think I too had been afraid of it when I had seen it as a child on a trip to Paris but as an adult  I had been drawn to its unique aesthetic styling.    When I saw the photo in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table I knew I would make it, face my fears, and give it a go.

I’m not even that but a fan of olives but I knew that it wouldn’t  be a  Pissaladière if I substituted tomatoes and cheese for the olives and anchovies.

The verdict? Very delicious!   I really felt rewarded for not succumbing to fear…or “hate”.    It felt good to join those Doristas who, like me, didn’t let a fear of the unknown get in the way of trying something new that might be new and delicious.

Being better late than never with this post I had to make due with the quick version which  used puff pastry.    While I was at it  I also made a version where I substituted figs and goat cheese for the anchovies and olives and let a drizzle of balsamic fall into the onions.

I call it a figgaladierre.



You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

-Rogers and Hammerstein, South Pacific

For those who aren’t afraid, find the recipe here.

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don’t know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]” means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small ‘boom’ in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a “food blog” or even myself a “food blogger”.

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  1. My pissaladiere was an unholy disaster, but it wasn’t from lack of trying. It just wasn’t my day in the kitchen. Yours looks great, though! Just like the pic in the book. I definitely want to try this again some day. Preferably in a cafe in Nice, where someone else can make it for me.

  2. I don’t have issues with anchovies – I’m the one that puts fish sauce on everything – but I have to say, the fig & goat cheese version is more up my alley…

  3. Kudos for actually following directions. I just couldn’t take the anchovies!

  4. Yours looks pretty much perfect! I’ll definitely take your advice and make an anchovy paste. I saw that some people use it in their spaghetti sauces. Maybe I’ll give that a go. I love you fig version also. It could practically be dessert!

  5. If I had a piece of the olive/ anchovy in one hand and a piece of the fig/ goat cheese in the other hand, I could roll over and call it a day.
    Sneaking things into food is truly the path to world domination. They’ll never know what hit them…

  6. The pissaladiere looks great. The addition of the goatcheese seems like a good choice with the anchovy. I didn’t like the anchovy taste (but I tried) on the top, but melted with the onion I find it great. Glad you liked it.

  7. I think its an influence of TV and movies. I remember countless shows and movies where the characters didnt like and wouldn’t have anchovies near them on any food,… its like a part of the American culture almost to avoid them. I never avoided them but was never confronted by one til a few years ago and I really like them! They just arent used in too many American dishes. Just pizza I suppose, although I doubt many places like pizza hut really puts anchovies on a lot of their pizzas… 🙂 Glad you liked this! We liked it too and made the rest of the dough into a few pizzas!

  8. I’ll keep my anchovies in my Caesar salad…thankyouverymuch 🙂 Good to see you joining us this week…and I think your figaladerie looks marvelous!

  9. Both versions look great! I’m a huge anchovy fan, so this was a no-brainer for me.

  10. No anchovies for me but I love the look of your fig and goat cheese version. They both look perfect! Glad you jumped in!

  11. I love anchovies, though I can’t remember when I learned that I liked them. Your fig and goat cheese version sounds tempting. I’m thinking blue cheese would be nice with that too. I’m proud to be a happy citizen of Doritistan.

  12. Both versions look great! I love the fresh fig and cheese with balsamic (am stealing that one). I’m glad I at least went halfway. I’m totally now into using the rest of the anchovies. I’m drawn to the anchovy section in every store scrutinizing the labels and sources. There is now a second can in the pantry, but it might take a few recipes to toss them on top. LOL.

  13. I certainly don’t mind anchovies mixed in recipes because they do impart such a wonderful flavor to whatever dish they are in, but I don’t think I will ever use them as a decoration. It’s an aesthetic choice with me. Now your figgaladierre is something I could have fun with!

  14. Why have a food blog if you’re not willing to be adventurous? What is there to learn from reading about someone who refuses to try anything new? *big yawn* But YOU on the other hand, my open minded and creative friend, should definitely have a food blog! Thank you for showing how it’s done. You know, as an aside, I once ordered a pizza in a restaurant, but instead of dough I asked for gin and instead of tomato and mozz I requested an olive. It was really good and I had two more, but I can’t remember what it was called.

  15. I am mostly aggravated that Nana and I were in Nice no less than last month and I didn’t know to try this thing. OK- not that I would have aimed for it on my own….but if I read ahead and realized it was a Dorie thing – I totally would have taken a bite 🙂 I don’t recall ever trying one yet I do hold the irrational fear of these little fish. And I eat almost anything that is not bolted down. Nana fed me pickled pigs feet, calamari (not scary unless you saw it raw… as I did), and other Italian delights while young…and still I have to be convinced to try this one. Great post as usual and yours of course, turned out lovely. But I would have been begging for a piece of the fig one 🙂 Yum to the nth.

  16. I’m glad you faced your fears and found something you loved!

  17. I’m with you on team anchovy… your fig version does look fabulous as well.

  18. Maybe not many of us grew up on anchovies and hence the fear… Being a beach bunny, I certainly don’t fear or hate anything that smells fishy, but since I didn’t have any anchovies and olives (oh COME ON, make the effort, will you? Yes, I know I didn’t!) I put other types of fish and olive-lookalikes on my pissaladiere. That probably won’t endear me to the Nicoise, but the resulting flavors made me happy as a clam.

    Saying that, I would happily substitute any amount of anchovies for that fig and goat cheese topping of yours. Figgaladiere that!

  19. Anonymous says:

    At first you were afraid (if not petrified), but you also felt desire. Those two impulses warred for your body. The battleground: your heart.

    In the end, drawn by a desire you couldn’t deny, bolstered by an aesthetic response that called from your very core, you conquered your fear and took your first bite.

    And nothing was the same after that summer.


  20. I love the fig and goat cheese idea. What a great flavor combination!

  21. I am in love with olives. Especially green ones with pimentos. You know, the 1950’s dinner party ones. With toothpicks. Sticking out of a dry martini. I’m so glad you liked it – it looks fantabulous (I really like that hybrid word lately). I promised myself I would make one more (at least) FFwD recipe with the group before the year’s end. Are there any cookie press recipes with maraschino cherries?

  22. I’ve got a tin of anchovies in my larder dying to become a Pissaladière. Soon, it will happen! So nice to meet you at Foodbuzz … and see you at grilled cheese fest – you best get ready to bring it!!!