My Tarte à la Provençale

EpicureanPiranha | May 1st, 2010 - 00:10
Tarte à la Provençale fresh out of the oven

Tarte à la Provençale fresh out of the oven

The other evening I created this recipe for a quickly prepared dinner. It’s even quicker to make if you’ve prepared the tomato sauce in advance. The sauce, used on the base, is made extra special and authentic by adding a touch of lavender#. It will keep well in the fridge for up to a week if stored in an airtight container, or just freeze and defrost in the microvave when needed. You’ll find the recipe at the end of this post. 

Preparing Tarte à la Provençale

Black olives, red onions, capers and anchovies nestle on a base of flavourful tomato sauce on the thin puff pastry.

Tarte à la Provençale

You’ll need half a 397 g pack of puff pastry, a small red onion, black olives, anchovies, capers, old cheddar or gruyere cheese, and a 28 cm loose-bottomed tart pan or porcelain baking dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Very thinly slice a small red onion using a very sharp knife or a mandolin. Slice a large handful of black olives [about 125 ml]. Finely grate the cheese [200 - 250 ml]. Roll the puff pastry very thin. Sprinkle the pan with a few drops of cold water and place the pastry in the pan, trimming the edges. Spread some tomato sauce evenly over the base – not too thick but make sure it’s well covered. You’ll need about 3/4 of the sauce. Evenly spread the sauce with the thinly sliced red onions, the sliced olives, and a few tablespoons of drained capers. Drain six anchovies and place evenly over the filling. Evenly spread the grated cheese over the tart, and bake in a very hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes [depending on how moist the sauce is, it may need a little longer to properly cook the base].

Serve hot or room temperature with a fresh salad.

It’s wonderful as is, but depending on what you like and what you have on hand, you can also add a few grilled peppers, and leave out the anchovies or capers, although it’s definitely much more flavourful and authentic if you leave them in! Then again, I’ve added some grated cheese to this version – which you would not do in Provence :-)

Garlic Tomato Sauce with Herbes de Provence

Gently sauté a small finely chopped onion in 30 ml extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes, stirring frequently, over med-high heat. Add 4 large, finely sliced garlic cloves and about 15 ml dried herbs [a mixture of summer savory*, thyme, fennel, rosemary, marjoram, and a touch of lavender#]. Sauté until transparent and just starting to colour. Add a 796 ml tin of chopped tomatoes, slightly drained, half a cube chicken stock [I like Aurora or Knorr], and lots of freshly ground pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer until thick [if the sauce is too wet, the pastry won't cook properly!]. Add a little sea salt to taste.

* the herb summer savory is related to thyme and rosemary.

#lavender gets its name from the Latin word “lavare”, and means to wash. Lavender is used extensively in cooking, and was used in Roman times to flavour jellies and sweets. Its sweet, floral flavour, with lemon and citrus notes, adds a wonderful touch to both sweet and savoury dishes. Flowers and leaves can be used fresh, and both buds and stems can be used dried [however, do not use lavender purchased in nurseries as it has probably been sprayed with pesticides].

5 Responses to “My Tarte à la Provençale”

  1. mdaignault says:

    Je l’ai essayée: succulent … et cette odeur de Provence. Lucette m’a fait ajouter une cueillèrée de miel à la sauce tomate pour enlever l’acidité; la pâte a un peu collé au moule à quelques endroits; la prochaine fois je vais graisser le moule. C’est à répéter.

    Et puis je suis bien tenté, tout comme Solange, par la recette de pâtes, avec les pétoncles et le pesto. Mais je n’ai pas de machine pour faire les pâtes; alors je crois que je vais acheter des pâtes fraiches chez le marchand. Je t’en donnerai des nouvelles.

    • Salut cher Maurice!

      Je suis ravie que cette recette t’ait plu ! Si tu souhaite éviter que la pate feuilleté ne colle, mouille le fond de ton moule avec quelques goutes d’eau très froide avant de poser la pate.

      Pour les pates fraiches, tu es tellement bon en cuisine, Maurice, tu devrais t’acheter un appareille pour les rouler. Tu peux en trouver en vente pour pas cher, et tu ne voudras plus acheter les pates “fraiches” du marché qui sont souvent trop épaisses!

      Je t’embrasse, et gros bisous a Lucette xxx

  2. mdaignault says:

    J’ai bien l’intention de l’essayer pour servir à mes invités du Brésil cet été; c’est vrai que cela sent la Provence!

  3. dorothycunningham says:

    Hi! Fabulous site and beautiful food! Love the photography which really adds to the recipe appeal…Beautiful work here! Can hardly wait to try some of these delicious recipes!
    Your flickr friend, Dorothy

    • Yeh! You got in :->

      Thanks for you lovely comments of appreciation, Dorothy! I hope you’ll let me know how the recipes turned out, and also if you’ve added your own touches! I think cooking should be creative and fun !

      So glad you have joined me here,


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