|caramelised red onion and anchovy pizza with black olives|
Yes, you’re right. This is not a Turkish recipe but with these ingredients, it could easily be which is why I leapt at it.
Turks of course are familiar with the pizza concept thanks to chains like Pizza Hut and Domino’s. Yes, we even have them here. But not in this village where I am, that’s for sure!
With the family coming and going, I thought having something like this all ready to go would be the answer. The actual recipe from Woman&Home magazine calls for something far beyond my ken: ciabatta bread mix. Here, what we do is go along to the local fırın or bakery and ask for an ekmek hamuru or bread dough. They are always happy to sell it to you and it makes the perfect pizza base. You just have to make sure you use it the same day, preferably as soon as you get home as it gets stickier by the minute.
|the pizza warm and appetising|
I have friends in Istanbul who do this when they have friends coming round for tea: this would be the tuzlu component of the tea.
The particular combination described here is very popular with cookery magazines and the like right now – well, I like it too, I must admit.It’s a modern take on traditional pizza. I love that red onion marmelade and the melted mozzarella or dil peyniri on top with the distinctive salty tang of the anchovies and black olives. I know that anchovies are not everybody’s favourite so if that is the case, simply omit. Red onions have a delicious flavour especially after being cooked long and slowly, their taste being so different from regular onions: sweet and sticky, not sharp or bitter at all. They contrast well with the anchovies and the black olives that also have their own unique taste.
Ingredients for Caramelised Red Onion and Anchovy Pizza with Black Olives
Serves 6 as a main or 12 as a snack
500g/1lb 2oz ciabatta bread mix OR 1 bread dough/ekmek hamuru
5 red onions, finely sliced
7 tbsp red wine ( I didn’t have any, shame on me)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
100g/4oz anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
300g/10oz mozzarella/dil peyniri, torn into chunks
100g/4oz black olives
3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed/ kekik (I used dried thyme)
Olive oil, to drizzle
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F.
Check your anchovies. If they are heavily salted, drain, wash and soak in milk till required.
Sprinkle flour on a work surface and lightly flour your rolling pin. Gently roll out the bread dough to a general shape to go on your baking tray. Line the tray with greaseproof paper and sprinkle with flour.
Lay the dough on top and spread with your fingers towards the corners without tearing. You can divide the dough into 2 if you prefer and make 2 pizzas.
|bread dough divided into two|
|this is my other pizza: tomato and cheddar with capers|
Meanwhile heat a sauté pan and melt the butter then add the onions, and cook very gently for 30 minutes, until softened and caramelised. Do not rush this.
Turn up the heat and add the red wine, vinegar and sugar with a generous amount of seasoning, and bubble briskly until the liquid has reduced to a sticky syrup and the onions are very deep red. Check the seasoning and set aside.
|stages of gently sautéing the red onions all the way to sticky|
Spread the onions over the surface of the dough, then arrange the anchovy fillets in diamond patterns over the onions, then arrange the anchovy fillets in diamond patterns over the onions, add the mozzarella or dil and scatter over the olives and thyme.
|one pizza ready to be cooked|
Drizzle with olive oil and cook in the oven for 10-12 mins. If you are using Turkish bread dough, it takes longer. Mine took about 25 mins. Serve immediately.
|the cooked caramelised red onion and anchovy pizza with black olives|