Pissaladière Recipe


Pissaladière is a specialty from Nice, in the South of France. It’s an onion tart with black olives and anchovies, on a thin pizza-like dough. The name comes from “pissalat“, a condiment made with pureed anchovies, cloves, thyme and bay leaves, which was spread on the tart before baking.

The name has taken on a somewhat looser meaning in my family, and we use it to mean any Mediterranean-style onion tart, not necessarily involving anchovies. My mother, sister and I made one during our Easter week-end in the mountains, and served it with a salad, dressed with what is now my father’s signature vinaigrette.

We were all delighted with the way it turned out : it is hard to go wrong with an onion tart, but the addition of pesto, tomatoes and olives (although un-traditional when it comes to the tomatoes and pesto) really makes it outstanding.

Ours did not include anchovies (which we like, but just didn’t have on hand), but you can add some if you’d like. Traditional recipes recommend anchovy fillets in brine, rather than those in oil. They should be rinsed well before using, and you should then omit the salt on the other ingredients. If you use anchovies packed in oil, drain them on a paper towel to absorb the oil.


– a roll of uncooked puff pastry
– 8 medium onions
– 2 Tbsp pesto (store-bought or home-made)
– 1 C of unseasoned tomato puree, preferably chunky (canned is fine, freshly made would be nicer, of course)
– 16 black olives
– 4 pieces of sundried tomatoes, chopped
– (optionally) 8 to 10 anchovy fillets in brine, well rinsed – omit the salt if using
– salt, pepper, dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme…)

(Serves 4.)

Peel and chop the onions. Put them in a large skillet, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Add a splash of water, and cook over low heat for about an hour, covered, stirring from time to time until they’re translucent and soft. This can be made up to a day ahead.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a greased or non-stick tart pan with the dough and prick it all over with a fork. If you have baking beans, line the bottom of the pie shell with a circle of parchment paper, and spill the beans (always wanted to say that) on it. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden. Leave the oven on.

Add the filling : spread the pesto all over the pie dough, and cover with the tomato puree. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Spread the cooked onions evenly on top. Add the anchovies if using (form little crosses made of two fillets, or lay them in a sunray pattern in the center of the pie). Top with sun-dried tomato strips and olives.

Return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through. Let rest on the counter for five minutes before serving. This can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature, with a salad.

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  • Dear Clotilde-

    This looks delicious, sans anchovies, of course, as I see you agree! I was wondering, however, what your fathers’ signature vinaigrette is? I am always on the hunt for the perfectly dressed salad.

    Also, I wanted to thank you for adding my link to your blog list. What an honor! C&Z is an inspiration to all food bloggers!

  • jennifer

    I adore pissalidiere, and I’m so happy to have a new version to try. My crust never turns out the way I expect–or as I remember from eating this in France. Like your variations too. We like to serve this to guests as a nibble with cocktails.

  • Jay

    Have just discovered your site, and already I’ve added the ingredients for pissaladiere to our grocery list. Thanks, it looks delicious!

  • sandra

    ooh…this sounds great. clotilde, i made something similar over the weekend. you can substitute leeks for the onions and make a leek tart. i did mine with some leeks sauted in butter, chevre, and an egg and whipped cream mixture.

    of course, it wouldn’t be a pissaladiere then =).

  • ani

    I have made Pissaladiere. Very tasty. Any recipes for duck legs? Thank you.


    I am intrigued, as is Heather (author of the first comment), by the mention of your father’s “signature vinaigrette”. Would he permit his daughter to share his formula? Your photo of the Pissaladière is a beaut.
    Thanks for another interesting entry. You have stacks of style.

  • Add my voice to the chorus asking for your father’s vinaigrette recipe!

  • Mamasue

    Clotide…my mouth is watering! I learn so much from your blog and love coming here. I must try this! :-)

  • Kitten

    Yay onion tart! Sometimes I add come Basamic vinegar to the onions while sauteing them….I second (or third?) the request for the secret vinagrette formula to be revealed…

  • kitten

    correction: some and Balsamic.
    Sheesh! Proofreading before getting carried away in the excitment of posting a comment would help!

  • All – You are so sweet! The “signature vinaigrette” was sort of a family joke and I don’t want to put too much pressure on my father, but I will check with him and ask if he’ll share his recipe. I’m sure he’ll be tickled pink!

    Ani – In the “Main dishes” category, check the “Paradoxical duck confit”, that’s the duck recipe I have here!

    Robert – Delighted you like the pic — and the entry! :)

    Kitten – Balsamic vinegar sounds great in the onions, I’ll try that next time! (Basamic sounds good too! :)

  • carla

    yet another tempting recipe. i was thinking of an onion tart just the other day when i saw my pan.

    well, i am definitely going to try this over the weekend, with anchovies, thank you very much!

  • Carla – Glad this appeals to you, let me know how it goes when you try it!

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