Here is a Vermont version of a classic: tender olive oil crust covered with lots of caramelized onions, Niçoise olives, buttercup squash, romano and goat cheeses. Tastes like Fall.
Wikipedia describes Pissaladiere as "....a type of white pizza, as no tomatoes are used. The dough is usually a bread dough thicker than that of the classic Italian pizza ......, and the traditional topping consists of sauteed (almost pureed) onions, olives, garlic and anchovies (either whole or in the form of pissalat, a type of anchovy paste). No cheese is used in France....".
Caramelized onions are the main thing for a Pissaladiere. To keep it local and seasonal, I used my own winter squash, which works on a pizza in a way similar to sweet potato. I added Romano cheese for its strong, salty quality, which is the replacement for anchovies. Chevre has a related flavor, and plays well with the caramelized onions and squash. Below is Hildene chevre, one of my favorites.
Pissaladière with Squash and Chevre
For the Semolina Crust:
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose or French-style flour (I use King Arthur flour)
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/3 cup thick sourdough starter
2/3 cups milk
2 Tablespoons olive oil
For the topping:
2 very large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted (these are tiny olives. You may substitute kalamata or other)
2 cups cooked buttercup or turban squash (or other sweet winter squash like butternut), in chunks
2/3 cup shredded Romano cheese
4 ounces of good-quality chevre, crumbled into large pieces
coarse ground black pepper
- Make the crust: In electric mixer bowl with dough hook attached, combine all dry ingredients. Mix briefly. Add the olive oil, sourdough starter, and milk, mix 1 minute to combine, the mix on medium speed for an additional 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Place in warm (90F) place for 20 minutes to proof. The dough will be puffed and smooth.
- While the dough is proofing, make the caramelized onions. Place sliced onions and olive oil in a large saute pan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions darken and soften. Do not brown or burn the onions, as this will toughen them. This can take 30 minutes or so, depending on the onions and the level of heat.
- Oil a large pizza pan and dust the bottom with semolina. I used an 18" x 7" oblong stainless pan with perforated bottom. Roll out the crust on floured countertop, then transfer to the pan.
- Spread caramelized onions on the crust, then add squash, olives and Romano. (Don't add the chevre yet). Drizzle a bit more olive oil on the squash, so that it doesn't dry out in the oven. Grind pepper over all.
- Bake in 450F oven for 7 minutes, then add the chevre. Continue baking for another 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. This is meant to be a tender crust, so do not overbrown.
- Slice and serve.