22
Aug

Tartine Baking Project: #69 Pissalidière

With all the sweet treats that line the pages of the Tartine cookbook, it was imperative to save something savory for the end of the project.  I do love savory baked goods so very much, so I had to be cognizant of the timeline so I didn’t bake them all right at the beginning.  I saved this little gem because it calls out to be part of a summer picnic.  In the cookbook it’s actually described as a perfect lunch in hand with a glass of Rosé.  So that’s exactly what I set out to recreate.  Such a beautiful little treat, just like you’d see in the windows of adorable boulangeries along the coast of the French Riviera!

Pissalidière begins with the brioche dough.  Honestly, brioche is one of my favorite things to make. (Here’s my video)  It’s a longer process than most recipes, but so simple.  The first time I remember eating brioche it was in Monaco as we were leaving the most amazing aquarium I’ve ever seen.  I pointed to the treat behind the glass that was covered in large crystals of sugar.  I took a bite and asked in French, “This is so delicious, what is it?”  The woman gave a gruntish laugh, shrugged her shoulders, and replied, “Uh, just brioche.”  It’s such a simple bread, customary and traditional for the French, and my sheer delight was out of the ordinary for this sweet woman who makes the stuff on the regular.  When I ordered a second, she was so happy and amused and told me, “Glad you found each other.”  I tried to save it in the car on our way back to Italy, but it was gone before we made it out of the country.

Finding the right olives was important to make sure the pissalidière as accurate as possible for the regional recipe.  It calls for Niçoise olives, which hale from just outside of Nice, France.  When I didn’t find them at first, I began to worry because I didn’t want to substitute them.  I didn’t even know what I’d properly substitute them with.  I went to the grocery store that has an olive bar, and after some serious searching, I found the Niçoise little gems as a part of an olive medley.  I walked away with my olives, making a woman who was stocking the olives disgusted with me in the process because she was super bummed I just wanted one kind of olive in the medley.  She watched me like a hawk as I filled up my container, even though I refrained from only grabbing the olives I wanted.  This deliciousness also included caramelized onions, anchovy fillets, and the best heirloom cherry tomatoes from a local farm here in Kalamazoo.  I found them at our food co-op, and they are the best tomatoes I’ve enjoyed all summer!

The salty pissalidière paired with a glass of Rosé made for quite the romantic weekday afternoon French getaway, right in our backyard.  My advice, don’t try and take a four-mile run immediately afterwards.  What was I thinking?!