Pissaladière with apple, caramelised onion, fontina and watercress

  • serves 6

Make a French-style pizza: this vegetarian recipe is topped with caramelised onion and fontina. Making your own dough is worth every bit of effort. Top with watercress and apple to serve.



  • strong white bread flour 550g
  • dried yeast 2¼ tsp
  • olive oil
  • onions 4, halved and very finely sliced
  • rosemary 1 sprig, chopped and mixed with 50ml olive oil
  • sea salt flakes
  • fontina cheese 250g, diced
  • watercress 2 handfuls, any woody stems removed
  • Cox or Worcester apple 1, cut into matchsticks


  • Step 1

    To make the dough, mix 100g of the flour with 150ml of warm water and all the dried yeast in a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for 2 hours.

  • Step 2

    To make the caramelised onions, put the sliced onions into a pan heated with 1 tbsp of oil. Cook over a moderate heat until caramelised and very soft, adding a tiny splash of water if they get too dried out. This could take up to an hour or more. Cool then chop to a rough paste.

  • Step 3

    Uncover the bread bowl. The dough inside will be bubbly and very slightly risen. Transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer and add the rest of the flour, 300ml warm water, 3 tbsp olive oil and 3 tsp salt. Mix everything with a wooden spoon just to get it started and then attach the dough hook to your machine and mix on medium speed. The dough will seem quite wet but do not add any more flour. Keep mixing until it comes together as a silky textured ball of dough (this could take 10 minutes or more). Put into a large, clean bowl and leave for about 1 hour until almost doubled in size.

  • Step 4

    Uncover the bowl then push the dough gently back into itself in a couple of places and form it into a ball. Cut into 2 pieces and shape each into a rough ball shape. Lightly dust the worktop with a little flour and roll out into rounds about 1 cm thick.

  • Step 5

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 and put a pizza stone or very heavy baking tray in to heat up.

  • Step 6

    Spread half the onion across the top of one of the discs in a thin layer. Spoon over some of the rosemary oil and sea salt across the surface and scatter over half the fontina.

  • Step 7

    Carefully lift the dough directly on top of the hot stone or tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, the top should colour slightly and the base and edges will crisp. Repeat with the other bread. Top with watercress and apple and drizzle over a little olive oil before serving.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 623
  • Carbs 24.1g
  • Protein 24.1g
  • Fat 23.9g
  • Salt 3.4g
  • Fibre 4.6g