Pasty-ladierre

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It’s getting chilly. Dark mornings find me clinging to my duvet, pleading to unheeding gods for extra snooze time. My mind needs escape so the other day I was remembering summery trips down to the South of France. Mediterranean memories of sipping chilled pale pink wine, slurping thick dirty fish soup, Bastille Day fireworks over Nice beach and sitting in a restaurant watching the World Cup Final over my wife’s shoulder. I nearly choked on my steak frites as Zinedine Zidane inserted his forehead into Marco Materazzi’s chest.

Anchovy haters look away. This is a pasty version of the Provencal classic, pissaladiere. That simple tart/pizza which hits a perfect balance of just three ingredients – sweet onions with salty olives and anchovies. Incroyable!

Anchovies to me are a true superfood – salty sweet umami and omega 3 laden silver jewels. Whether brewed down into fish sauce or dissolved into a sauce or enjoyed whole, these plentiful small oily sea creatures are a booster pack of flavour. They bring it and it pretty much stays brung.

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So I sweated down a heap of onions in butter and olive oil and threw in some thyme. I added a sprinkle of flour to stiffen up the mixture, before stirring through chopped and whole black olives. I packed the cooled filling inside a circle of puff pastry before sealing and brushing with egg wash. Finally I draped with anchovies placed on to pre-scored grooves in the pastry for the final few minutes of cooking time.

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Ingredients: onions, flour, butter, olive oil, thyme, anchovies, olives, puff pastry, egg

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