Mick, I just happen to have the recipe on my computer. Pissaladière Niçoise MAKES A 9- × 11-INCH PIE, SERVING 6 TO 8 T his unusual pie is often described as a Provençal pizza. True, the bread dough base is the same as is used in pizzas, but the strong-tasting anchovy-sardine paste (pissala) topping is pure Niçoise. You’ll see squares of pissaladière in bakeshop windows and delis throughout eastern Provence, especially in Nice, where it’s often sold right on the street. Accompanied by a green salad, pissaladière makes a great appetizer or lunch dish, and it reheats beautifully. My French friends, when describing this pie, always emphasize a point made in Jacques Médicin’s definitive book La Cuisine du Comte de Nice, that before baking, the onion layer must be exactly half as thick as the yeast dough or, if using a pastry base such as a pâte brisée, should be equally thick. In the traditional recipe, the pissala is blended with a thick layer of long-cooked onions and spread generously over the dough. The pie is decorated with local black olives before baking. The pizza is served hot, warm, or best of all, at room temperature. Included in this recipe is another tip, which I learned from the late cookbook author Mireille Johnson, who was born in Nice. For extra flavor, some of the reduced cooking liquid from the onions is added to the dough. So please prepare not only the pastry but the onions a day in advance. PREFERRED CLAY POT: A 3-quart earthenware or flameware casserole with a lid If using an electric or ceramic stovetop, be sure to use a heat diffuser with the clay pot. SUGGESTED CLAY ENVIRONMENT: Double slabs of pizza stones or food-safe quarry tiles set on the upper and lower oven racks 3 pounds red onions, thinly sliced (about 9 cups) ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove, peeled 3 cloves 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence Onion-Flavored Dough (recipe follows) 2 tablespoons anchovy paste 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 18 oil-cured anchovy fillets 18 small black Niçoise olives ½ cup semolina or whole-wheat flour for dusting 12 cherry or grape tomatoes ½ teaspoon sugar 1 One day in advance, prepare the onions and the onion-flavored dough. In an earthenware casserole, combine the sliced red onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic stuck with the cloves, the bay leaves, and the herbes de Provence. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 2 hours, or until the onions are meltingly soft and reduced in volume by two-thirds. Uncover, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often, until the onions just begin to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Transfer the hot casserole to a wooden surface or folded kitchen towel to prevent cracking. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to a storage container. Pick out and discard the garlic, cloves, and bay leaves. Reserve ½ cup of the oily cooking juices to use in the dough. Let the onion topping cool completely; cover and refrigerate until chilled. (The recipe can be made to this point up to a day in advance.) 2 Turn the chilled dough out onto a wooden board or other work surface and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour. At the same time, preheat the stone- or tile-lined oven to 500°F for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, remove the browned onions from the refrigerator and gently press on them to express their liquid into a small bowl. Mix the anchovy paste, 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, and pepper into this liquid. Fold in the onions and set aside at room temperature. 3 Rinse the anchovy fillets, place in a bowl of water, and soak for about 1 hour. Drain and pat dry. Pit the olives and soak them in a bowl of fresh water. Drain and pat dry. 4 Dust an 11- × 17-inch jelly roll pan with semolina flour. Place the dough in the center, sprinkle with more of the flour, and press out the dough into a rectangle about 6 by 10 inches. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 15 minutes. Press out the dough again to enlarge the rectangle, lifting and gently stretching it over your hands from time to time, until it fills the pan. Press the edges up into a ¾-inch ridge all around the pan. 5 Spread the onions over the dough to within ½ inch of the edge. Decorate the top with the anchovies, olives, and cherry tomatoes. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Dust the top with the sugar. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the exposed edges of the dough. 6 Bake the pissaladière for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the dough is crisp and lightly browned. Cut into squares and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Onion-Flavored Dough This dough is designed especially for pissaladière, with its lush onion topping. It is best made one day before baking. 2¼ cups unbleached bread flour (11 ounces) ½ teaspoon rapid-rise dry yeast 1 teaspoon fine salt ½ cup oily onion juices from step 1 of the pissaladière 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 In a food processor fitted with the plastic dough blade, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Pulse briefly to mix. 2 Place the warm onion juices in a glass measuring cup. Add the olive oil and enough warm water to measure 1 cup. With the machine on, slowly add just enough of the liquid to the flour to form a dough. Continue to process for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the dough forms a smooth ball around the blade. 3 Turn the soft dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently into a tight, smooth ball. Pack the dough into a plastic or glass container, cover, and refrigerate overnight. The dough can be held in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.