Saturday, 28 January 2012

My Favourite Treat and Pizza Alternative

My favourite food - given a chance I'd eat this everyday. It's a great alternative to pizza, one of many available to vegans. This variation on a french Pissaladiere however is divine. The original recipe uses anchovies which I replace with capers to keep that sharp saltiness, but its not a vital ingredient.

Ingredients :
25g vegan margarine
250g very thinly cut onion/ shallots
15g dry yeast or 1 tsp of quick yeast
120 ml of water
1 tsp sugar
250g strong flour
thinly sliced red and green bell peppers
pitted olives
tsp capers
3tsp of thyme
1tsp basil
pepper and herbs d' provence for seasoning
Olive Oil

For the dough:
 you can either mix the yeast with the tepid water and sugar. then leave for 10 mins in a warm place until it becomes frothy.
Then put into a mixing bowl with the flour and add four tablespoons of oil.
Alternatively mix a teaspoon of quick yeast with the water, sugar, flour and 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.
Mix until the dough forms a ball.
Then over a lightly floured surface kneading the dough until it is smooth and soft.
Coat a large bowl with oil, place the dough inside and wrap it with cloth, leaving it in a warm place to double in size (approx. an hour).  

For the topping:
 add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and melt the margarine into a large warm saucepan.
When the butters melted add the basil, thyme and capers to the pan, in addition you can add some of the caper brine depending on personal taste.
Then add the the finely cut onions into the saucepans and cook for an hour at a low heat stirring occasionally.
Three quarters through the hour add the sliced red bell peppers to the onions. The onions should be nice - soft and carmelized (golden/yellow) but not brown. Season and put aside.

A few minutes before the dough is ready oil a baking tray and heat it in a oven for a couple of minutes then remove.
Meanwhile knead the dough and roll it out to fit the baking tray.
After adding the dough to the tray brush it lightly with oil and add the onion and pepper topping.  Then arrange the slices of green peppers into a lattice like pattern over the onion topping, adding an olive to the spaces created by the lattice pattern (see pictures).

Lightly season and cover with a cloth then put it aside for 30 mins. Then bake it in the oven at 220 c or gas mark 7 for approx. 15 - 25 mins. 

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