Preparation info

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By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

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This is a red onion, olive and anchovy tart. I have seen this with puff pastry as a base and a pizza-dough base, and far prefer the puff pastry variety – thankfully it makes it easier to whip up as well! This tart is laden with anchovies – their saltiness offsets the sweet red onions and slightly bitter olives. Lower-fat pastry does work well, but avoid the ready-rolled variety if you can as it is usually rolled too thin, and is pretty fiddly to use.


  • 4 large red onions, finely sliced
  • 15 g butter
  • 375 g packet of puff pastry, thawed if frozen
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • ½ tbsp fresh marjoram or oregano or thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 × 50 g tins anchovies, drained
  • 60 g pitted black olives
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • beaten egg or whole milk, to glaze
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle (optional)


Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C/400°F/gas 6). Put the red onions in a pan with the butter over a very low heat and cook for 20–30 minutes, or until they are super soft, stirring regularly so that the onions do not catch on the bottom.

While the onions are cooking roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to a 36 × 26cm rectangle, slightly thinner than a £1 coin (2mm).

Using a knife, mark a border around the pastry, about 2cm wide, and then score all the way around the border in a criss-cross pattern. Without touching the border, prick the main part of the pastry with a fork. This will stop the pastry from puffing up too much as it cooks.

Place the puff pastry in the fridge to firm up a little – it is important to do this so that when it is in the oven, the flour cooks before the butter can melt into a gooey mess. When the onions are super soft, add the herbs and cook for another minute and then remove the onion mixture from the heat and leave to cool a little.

Take the pastry from the fridge and then tip the onions onto the pastry, avoiding the border. Spread them out into an even layer. Arrange the anchovies on top in a criss-cross pattern, and place an olive in the middle of each diamond shape. Season the tart with black pepper and brush the border of the pastry with the beaten egg or milk. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the pastry is nice and puffed up around the outside and is golden brown. Remove the pissaladière from the oven and leave to cool a little. This is great served hot or cold.