Tuesday, June 6, 2017


It's Summer again! Well, technically,  we are still a few weeks away from Summer but as I have come to realize "Summer time" is a very cultural theme.  For French people, l'été really means July and August - the time of year when everyone gets some time off. June is when everyone starts to think about their Summer vacations ; this is why I really like going to France in June. Days are really long, Parisians are starting to slow down, eating outside ,and easing into their Summer days....
In the U.S., Summer officially starts at the end of May with Memorial Day weekend and finishes early September with Labor Day. This is when plane tickets prices soar; this is when everyone starts barbecuing or, if in Philadelphia, talking about their weekend at the Jersey Shore....

So, it's Summer again in the U.S. and time to entertain outside. Since we only live in a two-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia, we can not entertain a lot during the cold months of Fall/Winter/early Spring.We are fortunate, though, to have a large roof top in our apartment building, which we use as an extra room everytime it's hot enough to sit outside.  This varies a lot -  we experienced a very hot Winter, which made it possible to eat outside in February! Most generally, we really start opening up the terrasse at the end of April. This spare open space with full view of the Benjamin Bridge enables us to host a few parties during the warm days of Summer in Philadelphia...

Since apéritif is one of my favorite meals, we tend to organize large "apéros" on our roof top. This makes it easy to organize and host: no back-and-forth with the kitchen downstairs : the food is already out. Everybody can help themselves with what they like (or want to try).... It's just a nice way to chill out and enjoy the company of friends.

Among all the things we make are the usual suspects : Guacamole, Hummus, white beans and fennel dip, salsa and chips, nuts, cake aux olives et au jambon, charcuterie and cheese, etc.  This year, I made a few variations of pissaladières. Pissaladières are from the South of France and traditionally involve caramelized onions, black olives, anchovies on bread dough. Since I know few people  who like anchovies, I tend not to make them with anchovies, especially when a lot of children are coming over. This year, I had extra feta cheese so I added feta instead of anchovies since we were having more than 12 kids over with their parents. I don't bother making my own dough anymore (my sourdough starter died a while ago) so I just purchase pizza dough at the local supermarket.
Really easy to make - and as usual, something you can improvise around to adapt to the palate of your guests. It's also very easy to bring Pissaladières to a Summer pique-nique or your next BBQ since it's officially in season!
Bon Appétit!


  • A ball of pizza dough
  • Onions (more than you think you need - I use 3 large ones for one Pissaladière)
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Anchovies, black olives, feta cheese

  • Pre-heat oven to 400F
  • Lay out the dogue in a square pan
  • Cook the onions in olive oil until translucide but not caramelized (although you could caramelize them)
  • Add herbes de Provence, salt, pepper to taste
  • Lay the onions on the dough
  • Add Anchovies/black olives, etc.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes