There is a place on earth, about 4 hours drive from where we live, which is worth seeing. A place where the narrow paved streets seems to lead everywhere. Getting lost in those streets give you the chance to look up and admire these old colourful buildings. If you get lucky, you’ll meander enough to stumble upon the market, where the stallholders shouts to get attention, all together creating a chaotic song punctuated by the seagulls cry.
Here you are in the old city of Nice, Cote d’Azur. For some, heaven on earth, authentic and picturesque. For some others, a terribly expensive place packed with old loaded people spending their time reading newspaper facing the waterfront on a bench.
For me, sweet memories of me as a teenager, going out for the first time with my cousins, trying to walk on the beach not minding the shingling. Best memories also when I took my wonderful american friend over there. We left from Lyon, a supposed to be 4 hours drive but unfortunately, I headed the wrong way, took the wrong road and here we are, lost in the mountains, on winding roads driving 30miles an hour and admiring the way Napoleon took to gather an army on his way up to Paris (well, I am not sure we cared at the time). Eventually it was a 12 hours ride.
But you know what’s the best about Nice. The pissaladière. Basically a pizza like dish but a pizza that refused to be associated to any tomato: an insurgent. It has onion, garlic, anchovies and olive. The onion are sweet though.
Problem: black olives are no good for cholesterol and anchovies are full of bones and I don’t like the way it tickles.
Solution: I am making a pissaladiere that do not like a pissaladière but which I like much better. Especially because I make it with my lovely friends: the zucchinis.
– a pizza dough (around 8 inches square) but pay attention: either you make it or you need to pay attention to the ingredients inside: only fat should be olive oil … it horrifies me when I see pizza dough with palm oil inside
– 5 onions;
– 2 zucchinis: I took one green and one light green;
– 2 teaspoons thyme;
– 2 teaspoons cumin;
– 1 table spoon sugar;
– 1 table spoon honey;
– salt and pepper
Preheat the oven at 400°F or 200°C.
Mince the onions. Cut the zucchinis by peeling them off until you reach the part where they got seeds. You can keep this part for another recipe (I used them at night, cutting them in cube and warming them with soja…tasty!)
Brown the onions in a trickle of olive oil for about 2 minutes (medium fire). Mix the all time so that it does not burn. Add the zucchinis, warm for about 5 minutes. Cover while warming so that the water stays in and allows the zucchinis and onions to get soft. Add the sugar, honey and thyme. Mix continuously for 2 minutes and stop the fire.
Spread this mixture on the pizza dough and put in the oven for about 10 minutes.
When it is ready, sprinkle with cumin.
I took the picture of the Vieux Nice from the following blog: http://laviesoleil.com/2008/01/ruelle-du-vieux-nice/