La Pissaladière, Mon Amour

la pissaladiêre

la pissaladiêre

This beautiful sticky onion treat always brings me back to my student days at the University of Nice. I rented an apartment with a Swede, a Dane, and a German–all guys with big appetites who took turns cooking…mashed potatoes, jars of pickled herring, and more potatoes with mustard or other condiments. I grew up on crawfish boils and jambalaya, spices and voodoo. I finally struck a deal: I would cook for the Nordic trio and…well, I got to eat better.

We lived one block off the Cours Saleya–at turns a farmers’ market and a brocante. We were always just steps away from a florist, an ice cream vendor, a fishmonger, an olive oil producer, and a baker. I was in love. And there was lots of street food. I first fell for socca, a thin addictive chick pea flour crêpe served hot and generously sprinkled with black pepper. But one day, I discovered pissaladière–salty, sweet, dark and dreamy–and I knew I had met my match.

When I moved back to the States and longed for those market days in Nice, I would make several of these onion tarts at a time.

caramelized onions for the pissaladiere

caramelized onions for the pissaladiere



La Pissaladière

Yield: 6 to 8  |  Total time: 1 hour
Print Recipe

Start with a crust of either puff pastry or thin pizza dough, and top with slow-cooked onions, black olives, and anchovies. For a dinner party: make one or two of these tarts in the morning, cut into small pieces and serve with a glass of wine to tide your guests over before dinner.


  • 2 tablespoons butter + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • about 2 pounds onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • a drop of red wine vinegar
  • about 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • bay leaf and thyme
  • puff pastry or pizza dough (store-bought or from your baker works fine)
  • anchovy filets
  • black olives such as Niçoises


  1. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Add onions and next 5 ingredients. Let cook on low, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Onions should be jammy and caramelized. Let cool slightly.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°. Shape dough into a long rectangle. Spread caramelized onions over in an even layer. Top with anchovies and black olives, a sprig of thyme, another crack of pepper. Bake at 400° about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool and enjoy with a glass of wine or 2.

Date Published: August 18, 2009

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

10 comments... read them below or add one


  1. August 18, 2009 5:11 pm by Sarah Reply

    Wow, that looks delicious!

  2. August 18, 2009 5:35 pm by Jean Reply

    Big fan of your beautiful book and everything you are sharing on your blog. Any plans to do more book signing events? Thank you.

  3. August 18, 2009 6:21 pm by kim Reply

    Thanks for the comments. I hope you try the recipe–it’s very easy and rewarding.
    As for book signings, for the most updated info, you might want to join the facebook trail of crumbs fan page:


  4. August 18, 2009 8:50 pm by Pierino Reply

    I have the dough in my freezer now. For some reason I’ve had good luck with the “afterlife” of pizza. And this was a good dough to begin with. It should bake up almost focaccia like. And the carmalized onions, anchovies (good anchovies) and olives are a superb combination of flavors.

  5. August 18, 2009 8:54 pm by kim Reply

    Pizza dough works wonders. I used to make this with puff pastry (all that delicious butter) but love the pizza dough. And I agree about the anchovies–good, fat ones in oil…Post a photo of yours if you can.

  6. August 18, 2009 10:14 pm by Lisa Reply

    Glad to find you on Twitter. :-)  Read your book about a year ago now, or whenever it came out, actually—- I saw your press on CNN.  I really loved the book and immediately wanted to read it again, (which I never do)!  Keep wanting another—

  7. August 19, 2009 8:14 am by kim Reply

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for your note and the kind words about Trail of Crumbs. I’m working on another book…slowly…
    Yes, Twitter…and facebook/trailofcrumbs


  8. January 11, 2010 3:47 pm by Charlie Reply

    Making this again today! Soooo delicious, as always!

    J’adore Kim! I do so miss you!

  9. June 1, 2010 9:02 pm by Seung Hee Reply

    Hehehe….I made this for my housewarming party and everyone went nuts – not only because it was delicious but super simple (for gradstudents to make it)!

  10. August 5, 2010 6:11 pm by Dahli Reply

    I make this tart for special holidays, or when I want to treat my loved ones, family and friends. Simple and fancy, a great treat!
    Glad you posted your recipes, very much like mine…I also do mine minus olives.

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