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Pissaladiere, A Year in Provence, and a Provence Red

I am so excited to share with you that I have joined the French Winophiles on Facebook.  This group does a Twitter chat and blog posts on their favorite subject: French Wines.  This month we are looking at the book A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle, Provence wines, and a delightful recipe that combines both.

First, let me share the book with you.  I read this book in the early 90s and it has been a book that I read annually since then. I cannot say enough about this book.  We read it as a book club selection and from this several couples found themselves on tours of Provence in later years.  I gave my original copy away when one of my friends was heading to Provence and hadn't read it. I received my new copy from Blue Vase Book Exchange.  They graciously provided copies of the book to the French Winophiles.  If you haven't read this book yet, here is a quick review.

In this witty and warm-hearted account, Peter Mayle tells what it is like to realize a long-cherished dream and actually move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs. He endures January's frosty mistral as it comes howling down the Rhône Valley, discovers the secrets of goat racing through the middle of town, and delights in the glorious regional cuisine. A Year in Provence transports us into all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life and lets us live vicariously at a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. (from Goodreads)

Doesn't that sound delightful? the book is written with chapters named for the months of the year.  I highly recommend that you read the book this way.  yes, it takes a year but there is something very delightful reading it this way.

Next, we were challenged to find a Provence wine that we liked that wasn't a rose. Provence is known for their delicious roses and I knew that I was going to have a bit of search to find one.  We checked our favorite wine store first, then headed to a wine megastore where we did find one that looked promising.  We found a 2015 Fontanyl that was recommended by the sales staff.

My family loved it.  It was deep spicy red wine, beautiful color and hints of clove, white pepper, and ripe blackberries.  We first enjoyed it with our pissaladiere and then with our cast iron skillet steak. It was delicious with both.

The last part of our journey through Provence was making a pissaladiere.  It is a lot like a tart, filled with softened onions, anchovies, and olives. It was delicious to eat and easy to make. Provence is known for their vegetables, onions being sweet and plentiful there.

Yield: 8


An onion tart that melts in your mouth.
prep time: 60 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 90 mins


  • 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tin of anchovies
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 20 black olives well drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 10 thyme leave stems, about 4" long


  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Drain anchovies and place in milk to soak.
  3. Heat a large skillet with the olive oil.  
  4. Add onions and garlic.
  5. Cook onions, covered, on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Salt and pepper generously.
  7. Spread puff pastry sheet on cookie sheet without stretching.
  8. Around the edge, turn up the pastry to create an edge.
  9. When the onions are soft, remove garlic, rough chop, and return to skillet.
  10. Add in thyme leaves and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Put the onions, garlic and thyme on puff pastry, staying within the edge.
  12. Remove the anchovies from the milk.
  13. In a decorative design, lay the sprigs of thyme, anchovies, and olives on top of the onion.
  14. Make for 20 minutes.
  15. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
  16. Cut and serve.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

This month's French Winophiles was sponsored by Blue Vase Book Exchange.  They provided some of our members with a copy of "A Year in Provence" by Peter Mayle.  You can find Blue Vase Book Exchange on Amazon and on Facebook.

Would you like to comment?

  1. So glad to have you as part of this group Terri. Your pissaladiere looks amazing.

  2. I have never heard of pissaladiere. Now I want a slice immediately. Thanks for sharing and so nice to have you here, Terri.

  3. I've never heard of pissaladiere before but it looks and sounds like something I would love! I'll have to try it out one of these days.


  4. Great article. This is my kind of recipe, putting a pissaladerie on my list of recipes to try!

  5. I like Cam had never heard of Pissaladiere! It sounds as if it would go amazingly with a Provençe white (like Rolle)! I am going to have to try out this recipe! (and I love anchovies!)

  6. What a delightful book! Especially since we stopped traveling to Europe when we had a baby (16 years ago!). Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Oh my gosh, that pissaladiere looks amazing. I'd love to make this as a special appetizer at home.

  8. Had never heard of pissaladiere before.New learning.Thanks for sharing.

  9. This onion tart that melts in your mouth is definitely in my list to do on weekends. It looks so tasty! Yummy!

  10. omg i LOVE onions so i think this recipe is totally up my alley. thanks for sharing. going to convince my bf to try it with me tonight!

  11. Ooo a deep spicy red wine. Sounds seductive I would love to try this!

  12. Welcome to the group! This sounds so tasty! I've pinned for future reference.

  13. Onions.... Red Wine! Count me in! This soound amazing.

  14. I'm not a big wine drinker but I somewhat like when it's added to some dishes like the pissaladiere that you made.

    1. I just tried this dish whole in Italy if I am correct I believe whatever the region of Italy you are in the varied with taste and some ingredients. I love wine so I can see and bet this version compliments the wine and dish nicely!


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