This recipe is the cover recipe from New Zealand cooking goddess, Annabel Langbein’s, book Simple Pleasures, The Free Range Cook. The only thing that rivals the beautiful food in this book is the stunning South Island scenery that also features. Annabel Langbein’s recipe is described as a Sausage, Tomato and Olive Pissaladiere. A pissaladiere is basically a French take on pizza and is traditionally topped with caramelised onions, olives, garlic and anchovies. I used Annabel Langbein’s flavour combination of Sausage, Onion, Olive and Tomato – but increased the quantity of olives and added roasted red pepper for a more antipasto style tart.
I have called this recipe a humble “tart”, in part because it is easier to spell and say than pissaladiere but also in the hope this more simple name will convey just how simple this recipe is. If you have never made your own pastry – this is the pastry to start with. It is so easy to mix together and work with.
The options for toppings are endless – Annabel Langbein’s book includes a vegetarian version with zucchini and feta. The toppings would be nice to modify with changing seasons – perhaps baby asparagus, mint and pesto version in Spring or a pumpkin, pine nut and spinach version in Winter. Regardless, it works nicely sliced into small pieces and served as an appetiser with drinks, or served either hot or cold with a simple green salad as an easy lunch dish.
Olive Oil Pastry
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup lukewarm water
Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Mix oil and water together and tip into flour. Mix with a knife until the dough comes together; it will be soft and supple. Cover and rest for at least 30 minutes, or as I did, rest overnight in the fridge until you are ready to use the pastry.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1 – 2 teaspoons finely chopped chilli (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon thyme or rosemary chopped
- 2 -3 good quality raw pork sausages (or more if you want a meatier version)
- Fresh cherry tomatoes or vine ripened tomatoes (I used about 15 still on the vine, but you could also chop in half)
- 24 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- Roasted red peppers, roughly chopped (I used about half a cup of store bought roast red peppers)
- Fresh italian parsley or other herbs to garnish
Method for Topping
Place oil in a heavy based pan with onions, garlic, thyme, and chilli. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 220C, placing rectangle tray you will use for cooking tart in oven (warming the tray is supposed to help crisp up the base). Lay a rectangle sheet of baking paper out on to the bench. Place the dough on to the baking paper and roll to a rectangle shape – about 24cm x 40cm.
Don’t worry if the dough is not perfectly rectangle, as above. After rolling out fold in the edges of dough by 1cm to form a raised border.
Spread cooled onions over prepared base and top with tomatoes, olives, red peppers. For the sausages, use kitchen shears or a knife to cut the casing and squeeze small teaspoon size nuggets of sausage on to the tart. Garnish with extra rosemary or thyme if you wish, then bake until crisp and golden, about 30 minutes. To finish I added some extra italian parsley. Serve warm or cold.
I served the tart cut into small squares with a wonderful 2012 Grenache Shiraz Mourvdre from Tscharky’s in the Barossa – probably our favourite boutique vineyard we discovered on our trip to the Barossa earlier this year. (http://www.vivino.com/wineries/tscharke/wines/bgc-barossa-valley-grenache-shiraz-mourvdre-2012). I find I savour and enjoy the wines in our wine cabinet just that little bit more when I have visited the vineyard and drinking the wine brings back memories of the scenery that the grapes were grown.