The recipe was adapted from one that appeared in The New York Times many moons ago, which itself was adapted from Entertaining in the French Style by Roger Verge (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 1986).
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup olive oil (previously 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound fresh spinach, stemmed and chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 cup Nicoise or Greek black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
8 springs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
Make the Crust
Combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup of water and the olive oil. Beat with a fork or whisk until well combined and frothy.
Pour the oil mixture into the flour mixture and blend, just until combined. Do not over-work the dough.
Gather the dough into a soft ball, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Prepare the Topping
Trim the spinach leaves from the stems, rinse well, dry, coarsely chop, and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion. Saute until lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the garlic and continue cooking another few minutes until fragrant.
Add the spinach, salt, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 8 minutes.
Scrape the spinach mixture into a small bowl, stir in the olives, and set aside to cool.
In the same frying pan, without adding additional oil, add the red pepper strips, saute until lightly browned, and set aside.
Assemble the Pissaladière
Roll out the dough onto a large cookie sheet, abut 1/4 inch thick. Roll the edges forward to form a low boarder.
Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the dough.
Sprinkle with thyme.
Arrange the red pepper strips in a basket pattern over the spinach.
Bake on the center rack of a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Check to make sure the top has not overly browned.
Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, if necessary, and bake until the crust is brittle and well browned, another 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool slightly, cut into 2 inch wedges, and serve as an hors d’oeuvre.