Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Don't let this photo intimidate your cooking skills or your palate. I know when I saw an image of this (in countless cookbooks) I remember saying how I thought it looked gross. But boy was I way off! It is absolutely delicious! Slightly salty from the anchovies and olives, yet sweet from the roasted onions. This is perfect for an appetizer or even a lunch. Chris made this the other day and we couldn't wait to share his recipe with our readers. ENJOY!

3 softball sized onions, ¼ inch slices
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
2 small tins of anchovies
a handful of pitted black olives (low salt is great)
fresh thyme

2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
warm tap water to make the dough ½ cup plus more as needed
extra virgin olive oil for bowl

To make the dough/crust, bring all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and stir with your hands until combined. If the dough won’t stick into a ball, add more water. If you have glop or a wet sticky blob, add more flour. Do these adjustments a teaspoon at a time. Dust some flour on your impeccably clean countertop and knead the dough until it’s smooth. This will take 8-10 minutes. Grease the bowl lightly with EVOO and but the dough back in to it. Cover the dough lightly with a glug of oil as well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it some place where the wind or AC vent doesn’t blow on it. It will double in size in about 3 hours, at which point, you should put it in the refrigerator overnight. Take the dough out of the fridge 4 hours prior to your planned baking time.

The filling is traditionally made by sautéing the onions in a metric ton of butter (hey, it’s French). I’ve done it this way before and, shock of the century, it was pretty damn greasy. Instead, put the sliced onions into a roasting tin and toss them around in a light drizzle of olive oil. Roast them in a 450F oven for an hour, tossing them around half way through cooking. Take them out of the oven, they should be a golden light brown. If not, roast longer. If they’re black, you screwed up. Oops! Be sure to keep an eye on them!

When the onions are done, your dough should have been out of the fridge for 4 hours. Spread it out evenly over a metal oven tray. The one I used is 11X14. Next, spread the roasted onions out evenly over the crust. Next, lay out the lattice pattern over the onions using anchovies. Finally, place an olive in the center of each rhombus/parallelogram you have created and sprinkle the whole thing with half the fresh thyme leaves you have on hand. Pop the tray in to a 450F oven and bake it until the crust turns a medium brown around the edges. When you take it out of the oven you can sprinkle the remainder of your thyme over it.

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