Indian Inspired Pissaladière: The Classic French Pizza with Onions Caramelized in Indian Spices
This might sound strange, but I love an empty refrigerator. Don’t get me wrong, I love a full fridge, too. But there’s something about an empty refrigerator. I think it has to do with possibilities. I tend to buy in cycles, filling it up with loads of groceries, then watching them dwindle away. I once had a friend who would periodically donate a large percentage of her clothing. She thought an empty closet was easier to work with, and found that having fewer options led to more creative pairing. You could say the same thing about the refrigerator. And when the task is accomplished, when everything has been used up, and you’re left with only basics, it’s liberating to start all over again.
That's about where I was when I concocted this pizza. Frozen dough in the freezer, caramelized onions in the fridge, and not much else. And what came out of it all was, if I have to admit it, brilliant. I'm in love with these onions anyway, no matter what they're used for. Here, they infuse a pissaladière with new personality. Traditionally, pissaladière is a French pizza of caramelized onions, olives and anchovies. A perfect medley of Mediterranean flavors.
But in this preparation, since my onions were already flavored with a combination of deep Indian spices, olives and anchovies just would not have been the thing(s). So instead, I coated the dough with a thin film of crème fraîche before spreading my spiced onions over the top. On request or demand, I added some poached chicken and the whole thing was done. And R and I were both sent directly over the moon.