Pizzaladiere is a true delicacy from Provence. Requiring very few ingredients, this onion pie was mostly prepared to be enjoyed while working in the fields. Long before the invention of the Internet, each Provencal family used to have its own recipe that would be kept secret and only shared within the family. The list of ingredients still varies from one region to the other, but a constant is always true: the delicious crust topped, with a melting filling of sautéed onions is a pure pleasure.
The featured recipe is one of the delicious versions that I learned to make as a child with my mamie (grandmother), a true Provencal women. Because the onion pie is so easy to prepare, this is actually the first dish I remember cooking. The pizzaladiere requiring very few ingredients, it is extremely important to have high quality ingredients.
Every time I prepare this recipe for my guests, it is an instant success. The use of the puff pastry in lieu of the usual bread dough makes it so much lighter and delicate. The combination of the sweet onion and the melted cheese is also divine. I hope you and your guest, will also be delighted with this easy and savory version of the Pizzaladiere.
Pizzaladiere is delicious served as a starter or as a main dish with a salad
The mini version can be served as finger food
(Recipe for 8 servings)
1 high quality puff pastry
5 lb (2 ¼ kg) of Vidalia onion, diced*
¼ cup (60ml) of olive oil, plus more to drizzle
6 oz (170g) of shredded Gruyere
½ lb (225g) of cherry tomatoes, sliced in two
1 tbsp of thyme, chopped
Salt & pepper
* Vidalia onions can be replaced with another variety of sweet onions
Preheat the oven at 350F (180C)
Place your diced onion in a big saucepan with ¼ cup of olive oil and let cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. It is important to cook the onions at very low temperature because you want them to slow cook in their “juice”, otherwise they will burn. When the onions are nice and golden, remove from the heat.
Grease the baking sheet with olive oil. Roll your puff pastry to fit your baking sheet and line the pan with the pastry. With a fork, gently prick the pastry base all over to prevent it from puffing up as it bakes. Lay the shredded Gruyere and then cover with the cooked onions. Finish by placing your cherry tomatoes and dust with the chopped thyme. Season to taste and drizzle with some olive oil.
Bake for 45 minutes or until the pizzaladiere crust is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature as a starter or as the main dish with a salad. If you are preparing the mini version, you will need to adjust your baking time to 35 minutes.
Note: Because they are quite time (and tears…) consuming, onions can be prepared in bigger batches and frozen in portion. So the next time you will prepare your onion pie, it will require very little effort.