A warming appetiser for the winter

This hot, tasty snack is a welcome treat for those long, cold nights, says Dr Chris Duckham

As the nights draw in and it is now noticeably colder here, we often serve our guests at the restaurant something warm while they choose from the menu. One of the best things we have found to serve recently is this pissaladiere, which is a type of pizza that originates from the south of France. It is a flavoursome appetiser, and perfect with a glass of dry white wine or chilled champagne.  

Ingredients  

  • Makes one generous sheet (for eight to 10 people)  
  • One large bunch of basil  
  • 100ml olive oil  
  • 30g pine nuts  
  • Two large onions, peeled and thinly sliced  
  • 250g puff pastry  
  • 24 pitted nicoise (black) olives  
  • 12 anchovy fillets  
  • Salt and pepper to taste  

Pine nut, anchovy and basil pissaladiere  

  1. Preheat the oven to 225ºC  
  2. In a food processor, blitz the basil leaves with a little of the olive oil to form a basil puree, about the consistency of double cream. Reserve.  
  3. Toast the pine nuts in the preheated oven for four to five minutes until nicely browned, then reserve.  
  4. Heat almost all of the rest of the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the sliced onions and cook, stirring every few minutes for about 30 minutes, until the onions are completely soft and caramelised. Remove from the heat and reserve.  
  5. Roll out the puff pastry until about half a centimetre thick and place on a non-stick baking tray. Prick all over with a fork.  
  6. Spread the cooked onions over the pastry, leaving a 1cm edge all round and then place the olives, anchovies and pine nuts evenly on top. Drizzle all over with first the basil puree then the remaining olive oil.  
  7. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for five to six minutes.  
  8. Let it rest for a minute or so then cut into bite-sized squares and serve at once.  

And for the wine…  

Elegusto recommends:  

This salty dish requires a very dry wine to take away the saltiness.  

A dry wine with salty food will always taste sweeter than it is.  

Chablis, Domaine de l’Eglantière (£9.95)  

A crisp and fresh wine with a steely minerality, yet the fruit is gentle and appealing.  

Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie, Domaine des Haute Pémions (£5.95)  

The anchovies and basil in this dish would respond well to this searingly dry wine. Zesty and lemony, but clean and fresh.  

To get 10 per cent off these and all wines from Elegusto, go to Elegusto and use the promotional code ‘Healthcare’ 

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