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A wedge of pizza topped with sautéed onions, anchovies and olives is great as a delicious and unusual starter.

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IngredientsServes: 4

  • 200g strong white bread flour
  • 1/2 sachet easy-blend dried yeast, about 4g
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 700g onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 50g can anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
  • 20 stoned black olives, halved
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

MethodPrep:2hr ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:2hr15min

  1. Put the flour into a large bowl and stir in the yeast and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre and add 125ml tepid water and 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Mix with a round-bladed knife until the mixture forms a soft dough, adding a little more water if it feels too dry.
  2. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is soft and supple. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a deep frying pan. Add the onions and cook gently over a medium heat for 5 minutes without letting them colour. Add the bay leaf and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and continue to cook gently, stirring occasionally for 35–40 minutes (the onions should remain transparent).
  4. Preheat the oven to 230°C (gas 8). Add the chopped anchovies to the onions. Let them cook gently for 2–3 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Lightly oil two baking sheets.
  5. Turn out the risen dough onto the floured surface, and knock it back, then knead very lightly. Divide into four, then roll out to make four rounds, each about 15cm in diameter. Put on the baking sheet. Spread the onions on top to within 1cm of the edges.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then scatter the olives over the pizzas and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the pizza bases are lightly risen and golden brown.

COOK SMART

Reseal the sachet of yeast as tightly as possible with sticky tape and put it back in the box to use another time. Alternatively, why not make eight individual pizzas while you are at it and put some in the freezer?

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Chef, author and television personality Eric Ripert is joining TODAY to share a few of his favorite fresh fruit and vegetable recipes from his new cookbook "Vegetable Simple: A Cookbook." He shows us how to make broiled Caesar salad gratin, a colorfully layered French vegetable casserole and sweet watermelon "pizza" with salty, briny toppings.

TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY.

Byaldi (Provençal Vegetable Casserole)

Byaldi is a very typical Provençal dish similar to a very fancy ratatouille. My grandmother made it on Sundays to bring with us when we visited our extended family in the countryside. We would have to drive for hours, but we didn't mind because the smell of the byaldi in the car was so good. It took everything we had not to steal a piece before we arrived at my aunt Monique's house. We wouldn't even reheat it we would just eat it warm from the casserole. It's even better the next day if you manage to have leftovers.

Romaine Caesar Gratin

Inspired by my dear friend Laurent Manrique, this is a clever play on a Caesar salad. The obvious difference is that the romaine is served quartered and broiled for the gratin effect, but it keeps its crunchiness and freshness.

Watermelon 'Pizza'

This summery treat is great for adults and kids alike! I love the combined flavors of the sweetness of the melon with the saltiness of the feta and brininess of the olives.


Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups plus 2 teaspoons warm-to-the-touch water
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • Grated zest of lemon or 1/2 orange
  • Kosher salt or other coarse salt, for sprinkling

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Provençal Onion Pizza

Pissaladière is a signature Provençal dish from Nice and environs, a pizza spread with a thick, sweet layer of onions that have been cooked slowly until they caramelize and garnished with olives and anchovies.

2 pounds sweet onions, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon capers, drained, rinsed and mashed in a mortar and pestle or finely chopped

12 anchovy fillets, soaked in water for five minutes, drained, rinsed and dried on paper towels

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, preferably with a pizza stone inside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to sizzle and soften, about three minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and pepper. Stir everything together, turn the heat to low, cover and cook slowly for 45 minutes, stirring often. The onions should melt down to a golden brown puree. If they begin to stick, add a few tablespoons of water. Stir in the capers, then taste and adjust seasonings. If there is liquid in the pan, cook over medium heat, uncovered, until it evaporates.

2. Roll out the pizza dough and line a 12- to 14-inch pan. Brush the remaining tablespoon of oil over the bottom but not the rim of the crust. Spread the onions over the crust in an even layer. Cut the anchovies in half, and decorate the top of the crust with them, making twelve small X’s and placing an olive in the middle of each X. Place on top of the pizza stone, and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the crust are brown and the onions are beginning to brown. Remove from the heat. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Yield: One 12- to 14 inch pizza.

Advance preparation: The onion topping can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. The dough can be made several days ahead and kept in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded flat
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ teaspoon herbes de Provence, crumbled
  • 1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 slices provolone cheese, halved

Heat olive oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Mix 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and garlic in a bowl and stir chicken breast halves into the mixture to coat. Transfer chicken with marinade into the skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink inside, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.

Pour 1/3 cup chicken stock into skillet and stir to dissolve browned bits of food from the skillet. Cook and stir shallot and mushrooms until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup chicken stock, herbes de Provence, and 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are deep brown in color, about 2 minutes.

Return chicken breasts to pan and top each with 1/2 slice of provolone cheese. Cover skillet and let cheese melt serve with mushrooms.


Provencal Sauce ?

Provencal sauce hails from Provence area in France. This recipe is simply delicious. Your loved ones will feel like they are having diner in the beautiful southern France once they try this aromatic and flavorful sauce.

It is a tomato based sauce with an addition of fragrant herbs, white wine, garlic, onions and savory olives and capers. All the favorite Mediterranean flavors that everyone loves. There are as many variations of the sauce as there are French people and you can absolutely adjust the ingredients to whatever suits your personal palette better. The sauce is perfect for virtually anything: serve it with grilled fish and poultry, or ladle a spoon or two over succulent meat, like lamb or beef.

To create this phenomenal sauce is very easy. There is the importance of using really fresh ingredients for the best taste. You can make the sauce out of canned tomatoes but I highly recommend using fresh, and make the sauce from scratch. It gives the sauce an unbeatable freshness and extra flavor.

To make the sauce is a breeze. With a few simple steps and a handful of ingredients you will have the sauce in your pot they will wow even the pickiest of the food gourmets. The sauce is elegant with a rich, deep tomato flavor and a perfect balance of savory and acidic.

Ingredients

    2 tablespoons olive oil 1 yellow onion, finely chopped Salt & freshly ground pepper 2 pounds fresh tomatoes chopped 2 cups white wine 1/4 cup olive oil 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 cup cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon capers, drained 1/2 cup fresh herbs including basil, parsley and thyme, roughly chopped

Steps

Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then the chopped onion. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the onions for about 6 minutes until they begin to soften and translucent, stir often.

Add the tomatoes, cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to let the tomatoes release their juices.

Add the wine and simmer the tomatoes uncovered on medium-low heat for about 50 minutes or until the sauce gets thick and there is very little liquid left. Puree the sauce in a blender and reserve.

Using clean saucepan Heat oil on medium-low heat. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until golden. Do not burn. Add the capers and chopped olives and cook for 5 more minutes.

Transfer the cooked tomato sauce back to the saucepan and stir in the fresh herbs. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.


Recipe Summary

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
  • 1 ½ sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil into a shallow platter and lay chicken breasts on top. Rub with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken breasts until browned, about 4 minutes per side.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a baking dish. Place tomatoes and green onions in the baking dish and pour chicken broth on top.

Combine mustard, rosemary, and thyme in a small bowl and brush onto chicken breasts. Place chicken breasts on top of the vegetables in the baking dish. Cover with Gruyere cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).


French in a Flash: Provençal Sablés Recipe

When I took Air France's navette shuttle plane from Nice to Paris last month, I was enchanted. The male flight attendant paid me almost medieval-level chivalrous courtesies. Women traveled with dogs on leashes and in the laps, as they ate little crumbs from their fingers. And when they came through the aisle offering drinks, they also offered shortbread, with the simple question: "Sucré ou salé?" Sweet, or savory? I said sweet, but my accent's not perfect, and the savory somehow landed next to my sparkling mineral water on my tray table.

I took a bite of a salty shortbread cookie, known as a sablé in French, studded with fennel seeds. They were so good that I thought perhaps my knight of a flight attendant had purposefully misheard me and offered me the better choice. They were sophisticated, simple, and satisfying, with the (albeit beloved) greasiness of chips. Here is my version done with salty, nutty Parmesan, and earthy rosemary and thyme. These flavors of Provence go perfectly as an apéro along with a bottle (or two) of Côtes de Provence rosé. Bon app.


Barbecued Pizza

On a floured board, divide dough into 4 equal pieces shape each into a ball. Roll out each ball into a 5- to 6-inch-wide round. Brush tops lightly with about half the olive oil. Place each round, oiled side down, on a 10- by 12-inch piece of foil (4 total). With your hands, flatten rounds to 1/8 inch thick and 7 to 8 inches wide. Lightly brush with remaining oil. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature until slightly puffy, 15 to 25 minutes.

As dough stands, prepare barbecue for direct heat.

If using charcoal briquets, cover firegrate with a single, solid layer of ignited coals let them burn down to desired heat. Set grill in place and measure heat.

If using a gas barbecue, turn all burners to high and close lid for 10 minutes. Adjust burners to desired heat. Set grill in place and measure heat.

When grill is medium (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds), lift 1 piece of foil and flip dough round over onto grill. Peel off and discard foil. Repeat to place remaining dough on grill, keeping rounds slightly apart. Cook until pizza crusts are golden brown on bottom, about 2 minutes.

With a wide spatula, transfer crusts to baking sheets, browned sides up. Cover crusts with topping choice and slide from baking sheet back onto grill. Cover barbecue with lid (open vents for charcoal), and cook until topping is hot and pizza bottoms are crisp and brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill add salt and pepper to taste.

Per pizza crust: 334 cal., 24% (81 cal.) from fat 5 g protein 9 g fat (8 g sat.) 54 g carbo (3 g fiber) 547 mg sodium 7 mg chol.

Nectarine and Basil Toppings: For each pizza, thinly slice 1 small pitted firm-ripe nectarine (about 6 oz.) and mix with 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle pizza crust with 1/3 cup shredded jack cheese and 2 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese. Lay nectarine over cheese. Top with 1 tablespoon pine nuts. When pizza is removed from grill, scatter with 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil leaves.

Per pizza: 655 cal., 40% (261 cal.) from fat 27 g protein 29 g fat (11 g sat.) 75 g carbo (2 g fiber) 976 mg sodium 55 mg chol.

Provençal Topping: For each pizza, spread 1/3 cup fresh chèvre (goat) cheese onto pizza crust sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme. Lay 1/2 cup thinly sliced canned peeled red peppers on cheese and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese. When pizza is removed from grill, mound 1/2 cup salad mix on it.

Per pizza: 539 cal., 37% (198 cal.) from fat 22 g protein 22 g fat (11 g sat.) 63 g carbo (2 g fiber) 1,073 mg sodium 36 mg chol.

Sausage-Gruyère Topping: For each pizza, sprinkle 1/3 cup shredded gruyère cheese and 2 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese onto pizza crust. Lightly grate nutmeg over cheese. Thinly slice 1 cooked chicken-apple sausage (3 1/2 to 4 oz.) and lay meat on pizza crust.

Per pizza: 750 cal., 44% (333 cal.) from fat 40 g protein 37 g fat (15 g sat.) 62 g carbo (9 g fiber) 1,449 mg sodium 69 mg chol.

Peking Duck Topping: For each pizza, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce over pizza crust. Top with 1/2 cup shredded boned, skinned barbecued duck (from a Chinese market) or roast chicken and 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion. When pizza is removed from grill, scatter with 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves.

Per pizza: 548 cal., 28% (153 cal.) from fat 25 g protein 17 g fat (7 g sat.) 68 g carbo (7 g fiber) 1,068 mg sodium 69 mg chol.

Margherita Topping: For each pizza, sprinkle 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese over pizza crust. Top with 2 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes. When pizza is removed from grill, scatter with small whole fresh basil leaves.

Per pizza: 517 cal., 37% (189 cal.) from fat 22 g protein 21 g fat (1 g sat.) 60 g carbo (9 g fiber) 922 mg sodium 45 mg chol.


Watch the video: The Provençal Pizza You Need To Eat: Pissaladière


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