The Ultimate Provençal Pairing – Pissaladière and Rosé Wine
Our latest wine review and recipe feature takes us to Provence in the South of France. We will be reviewing two high-quality rosés coming from Canadian winemaker Julian Faulkner’s family estate in the Côtes de Provence, the spiritual home of rosé wine.
To accompany the wines we will be making Pissaladière, the intense caramelised onion and anchovy tart that is the classic street food from Nice. Our recipe is inspired by Alex McKay’s classic Provençal cookery book handily titled “Cooking in Provence”; it’s worth nabbing a 2nd hand copy if you can as the book is a wonderful evocation of place and flavour with some straightforward and totally doable recipes.
With this year’s summer heatwave there’s very little better than a chilled glass of rosé, but the wine is now seen as a year-long drink, perfect as an aperitif or with food ranging from pink lamb to salmon, duck, charcuterie or soft cheeses such as Brie or Camembert.
We started with a bottle of Julian Faulkner’s Le Grand Cros (£11 online), an elegant pink blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle grapes. Amongst many prizes, the wine has won a Winning Gold Medal at the 2020 Mundus Vini wine competition. It has lychee on the nose with a long red fruit flavour, perfect for matching with Provençal dishes.
Next up was a peach coloured bottle of Jules 2019 (£8.75 online). Dry and with white peach on the nose and a lingering strawberry finish, the wine has the same grape choices as Le Grand Cros but replacing Syrah with the Semillon grape. The wine would be a perfect match with the sweetness of Red Mullet or a Provençal tomatoey vegetable stew.So here’s our Pissaladière recipe:
A classic caramelised onion and anchovy tart from Nice
- 1 kg Onions Peeled and sliced
- 6 large Garlic Cloves Peeled and sliced
- 100 ml Olive Oil
- 15 Salted anchovy fillets Rinsed
- 15 Black Olives Halved and stoned
- 1 tsp Salt and caster sugar Or adjust to taste
- 250 g Strong white flour Plus extra for dusting
- 6 g Fresh Yeast
- 150 ml Lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 g Salt
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/3500F/Gas Mark 4.
Gently sweat the onion and garlic in a covered shallow pan with the olive oil, a teaspoon each of salt and sugar and 100ml water for about 10 minutes until soft and creamy.
Remove the lid, turn up the heat and stir the onions for 15 minutes until they are a dark caramel colour.
Sift the ﬂour into a bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm warm water
Make a well in the centre of the ﬂour and pour in the water, yeast and oil.
Mix until you form a dough.
Turn the dough out onto your worktop, add the salt and knead for a further 6 or so minutes until it is very smooth.
Place the dough back into the bowl and cover it with a damp tea-towel. Leave it in a warm place for an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Once this is done knead the dough again to knock out any air bubbles.
Roll out the fougasse dough or puff pastry to ﬁt a 20cm (8m) tin. If you are using puff pastry, prick it well.
Spread your onions evenly over the base.,
Decorate in a crisscross or lattice design with the anchovies, then ﬁll the little holes with the olives.
Bake the pissaladière for 20 minutes or so until the base is crisp and the top is dark gold.
for a vegetarian version, omit the anchovies or replace them with slices of charred red pepper
Julian Faulkner’s wines are a more refined alternative to some of the cheaper rosés on the market. If like me you love Provençal flavours in the summer then they are well worth seeking out.