I've always loved pissaladières, the southern French caramelized onion pizza. It strikes a nice balance of very bold flavors: the intense saltiness of the olives (and the anchovies) paired with the sweetness of the caramelized onions.
I first heard of vadouvan, an Indian-spiced caramelized onion paste, on a Top Chef episode. The odd fusion of Indian and French cuisines really intrigued me and it wasn't long before it became a household favorite. In this recipe, I do not grind the onions. I caramelized them on the stovetop and add the spices so that the onions keep their shape.
The biggest compliment for a vegan chef is without a doubt when people don't notice the absence of a meat or dairy in a dish. I had three meat-loving guests over for a dinner where I made this pissaladière and everyone was raving about how good it was! None of the "It's good... for a vegan pizza"polite compliments.
The flavors are bold and unique: Italian, French and Indian all at once.
Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as an appetizer
1 cup of vadouvan - I used the Paul Grimes recipe
4 olives, pitted and halved
2 potatoes, thinly sliced with a mandoline slicer
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 store-bought pizza dough (350 g)
- Warm the oven to the maximum.
- Grind the tomato and cook it with one tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt over medium heat until the tomato sauce becomes thicker (about 8 minutes).
- Pan-fry the slices of potatoes with one tablespoon of olive oil until they become golden brown (about 4 minutes).
- Stretch the pizza dough on a pizza stone or a baking tray.
- Spoon the tomato sauce and place the potatoes, the vadouvan and the olives on the pizza dough.
- Place on the bottom shelf of the oven for 10-14 minutes until the crust is golden.
Where's the protein?
A big misconception about vegan food is that there is no protein. Protein can be found in plant sources too. In an effort to address these concerns, I will either let you know what the protein sources are or how they can be added to the recipes.
Potatoes, tomatoes, onions and olives are all small sources of protein. If you want to boost the protein content, you can add a few tablespoons of hemp hearts on top of the pissaladière. It is a quick and efficient way of boosting the protein content of this recipe, or any other, for that matter.
Alternatively, you could make your own pizza dough with a mix of wheat flour and chickpea flour, which is rich in protein.
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