“Half tart, half pizza, the pissaladière is a classic recipe from the Provence region of France. My version features a mélange of multi-colored vegetables – zucchini, fennel, eggplant, and onions – on top of an olive oil-enriched crust,” says chef Fernanda Capobianco of vegan bakery Vegan Divas NYC. “It’s ideal as a main dish for dinner alongside a green salad – a great recipe for entertaining. Leave the vegetables premade and each guest can make or choose their topping.”
Place the flour in a large bowl and stir in the salt, pepper and sugar. Add the vegan butter cubes to the flour and, using your fingers, mix them in until they are evenly distributed and the mixture is crumbly. Make a well in the center and add the water and olive oil to the well. Gradually stir the liquid ingredients into the flour until the mixture is evenly combined and forms a dough. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat 5 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onion slices. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until softened. Sprinkle the zucchini slices with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to caramelize and the zucchini starts to turn translucent. Add the eggplant and fennel slices, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so that the heat reaches the uncooked vegetables, until the vegetables are just softened. Remove the skillet from the heat and cool until you are ready to use the topping.
Assemble the pissaldiere:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Brush a 13-by 9-inch baking pan with olive oil. On a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough out to a rectangle that roughly measures 13-by-9 inches. Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin and fit it into the baking pan. Using a table knife, cut the excess dough from around edge of the pan and fit the trimmings into any empty spaces in the pan. Continue until the bottom of the pan is covered with an even layer of dough.
Arrange the cooked vegetables in an even layer on top of the dough. Scatter the olives and thyme leaves on top and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the dough base is golden brown and cooked through and the vegetables are lightly browned. Cut into squares and serve immediately.