Takoyaki, An Osaka Street Food Staple, Fried Octopus Dumplings from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda

For a 3rd and last helping from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda (published by Ryland Peters & Small, 2022), here is Takoyaki, an Osaka street food staple.



Along with okonomiyaki, takoyaki are probably one of the most famous Osakan street foods, but you can also find them everywhere across Japan. They are little round balls of batter, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and stuff ed with little nuggets of octopus. You’ll need to buy a special pan (widely available online) to make takoyaki, but they’re definitely worth it as they are such a perfect party food.



450 ml/scant 2 cups Dashi* of your choice

1 UK large/US extra-large egg

2 tsp light soy sauce

150 g/1 cup plus 2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour, sifted

3½ tbsp vegetable oil, for frying


200 g/7 oz. octopus tentacles

20 g/¾ oz. pickled ginger, finely chopped

2 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped


120 g/4¼ oz. takoyaki sauce

60 g/2 oz. Japanese mayonnaise

10 g/⅓ oz. bonito flakes (katsuobushi)

2 tsp aonori seaweed flakes

iron takoyaki pan with 16 holes (each hole 4 cm/1½ inches wide)



Whisk the dashi, egg and light soy sauce together in a large jug/pitcher. Sprinkle over the flour in two additions and gently whisk into the dashi mixture until incorporated into a smooth batter. Do not overmix.

Before you start cooking, make a simple but useful tool: scrunch some good-quality, thick kitchen paper tightly into a ball. Place the ball in the middle of another sheet of kitchen paper then wrap it around and twist the loose ends together to make a lollipop/candy on a stick shape.

Heat the takoyaki pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, dip the paper ball of the lollipop into the vegetable oil, then use it to oil each hole. Dip the paper in the oil again, then use it to coat the flat surface of the pan. You’ll need to cover the whole surface of the pan in oil to avoid the batter sticking. There should be some oil pooling at the bottom of the holes. 

Pour a quarter of the batter into each hole in the pan. Put half of the octopus pieces in each hole, then scatter half the pickled ginger and spring onions/scallions over the entire pan. Finally, pour over another quarter of the batter so it spreads across the flat surface of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook without touching for 5 minutes.

Use bamboo skewers or chopsticks to push one side of the batter away from the rim of a hole. It will move easily if it’s set underneath, if not then wait a little longer before trying again. Once the bottom is crispy, use chopsticks to rotate the balls 90 degrees so that any uncooked batter is underneath. Stuff any of the surrounding dough on the flat part of the pan inside the balls as you turn them. When the bottom becomes crispy again (after a minute or so), repeat the 90-degree rotation and stuffing process three more times in the same direction. At this point, turn the takoyaki around every which way, until the surface is golden all over and they are perfectly round! Using bamboo skewers, remove the takoyaki from the pan to serving plates or bamboo boats. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining ingredients to make a second batch.

Drizzle over the takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise, then sprinkle with bonito flakes and aonori before serving.

Otsumami cover (1)

(* Excerpted from Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers: Over 70 Recipes to Enjoy with Drinks by Atsuko Ikeda, published by Ryland Peters & Small 2022 / Photography by Yuki Sugiura (c) Ryland Peters & Small 2022)

Blooming Flower of a Dim Sum Dumpling, Ika Shumai, Squid Bites We Serve from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda

Blooming flower of a dim sum dumpling, Ika Shumai, squid bites we serve from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda (published by Ryland Peters & Small, 2022)



Shumai are the steamed dumpling favorites at dim sum restaurants. They are traditionally Chinese, but this particular version is definitely Japanese and actually comes from my hometown, Yobuko in Kyushu. This town is known for its fish market and particularly for the translucent squid or ika you can get there. Ika Shumai are steamed squid and white fish dumplings, which are beautifully wrapped in thin strips of gyoza wrappers to emulate a blooming flower. The squid gives a natural sweetness to the dumplings, while the strips of gyoza wrapper add an airy, fluff y texture to your mouthful.


10 gyoza wrappers

6 large lettuce leaves

English mustard, to serve

Squid dumpling

Ingredients, Filling: 

200 g/7 oz. cod, skinned and roughly diced

120 g/4½ oz. fresh squid, roughly chopped

1 egg white

1 shallot, finely chopped

½ tsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

¼ tsp fine salt

1 tsp golden caster/granulated sugar

1 tbsp sake

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp fish sauce

3 tbsp katakuriko (potato starch)


2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp mirin 

2 tbsp soy sauce

20-cm/8-inch steamer



To make the su joyu dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

For the dumpling filling, put the cod and half of the squid in a food processor. Pulse to make a paste. Add the egg white and pulse again to combine with the  fish paste – this will help give it an airy texture.

Tip the fish mixture out into a mixing bowl, then add the remaining chopped squid, shallot, ginger, salt, sugar, sake, sesame oil, fish sauce and katakuriko. Mix until well combined, then chill the dumpling filling in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make two separate piles with five gyoza wrappers each on a chopping board. Slice both piles of the gyoza wrappers into fine strips, as thin as matchsticks, then separate the layers so that they don’t stick together. Place the gyoza strips in a sealed container until ready to use.

Bring a steamer to the boil.

Wet your hands a little to stop the fish mixture from sticking, then divide the mixture into twelve 35-g/1¼-oz. portions. Shape each one into a ball. Mix the gyoza strips to a give a messy texture (rather than having them all neatly positioned). Cover each fish ball with a nest of gyoza strips. 

Use tongs or chopsticks to place three lettuce leaves at the bottom of the steamer to stop the dumplings from sticking to the surface. Place six dumplings into the steamer (spaced apart as they will swell up when cooking). Cover with a lid and steam over medium heat for 7 minutes.

Take the dumplings and the lettuce leaves out of the steamer, then repeat the cooking process with the remaining lettuce leaves and dumplings.

Serve the dumplings hot, with dots of English mustard on top and the su joyu dipping sauce.

Otsumami cover

(* Excerpted from Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers: Over 70 Recipes to Enjoy with Drinks by Atsuko Ikeda, published by Ryland Peters & Small 2022 / Photography by Yuki Sugiura (c) Ryland Peters & Small 2022)

365 Days, 50 Easy Indian Curries, Under the Weather, Try Moong Dal from 50 Easy Indian Curries by Penny Chawla

365 Days and 50 Easy Indian Curries!

Under the weather, try Moong Dal, our first share from 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney.

Moong Dal

Serves 4–6

Moong dal is a staple in every Indian home, and will be made differently depending on which part of India you are in. If you’re feeling under the weather, you can't go wrong with a bowl of moong dal, as it’s easy to digest and very nutritious. According to traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it also balances the body’s elements.


210 g (1 cup) moong dal (skinned split mung beans), well rinsed

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

sea salt

Steamed basmati rice or paratha

Moong Dal

Moong dal temper (Ingredients):

2 tablespoons ghee or peanut oil

1–2 dried red chillies

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1⁄8 teaspoon asafoetida

1 Asian shallot, thinly sliced

1 sprig curry leaves, leaves stripped


Place the moong dal in a saucepan and add 800 ml (27 fl oz) of water. Bring to the boil over high heat and skim off the froth that rises to the surface. Stir in the turmeric, then reduce the heat to medium–low, cover, leaving the lid open a crack, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35–40 minutes, until the moong dal is soft and broken down. Add a little more boiling water if the mixture starts to stick to the base of the pan or is becoming too thick. Add salt to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the moong dal temper, heat the ghee or oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the chilli, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida. Shake the pan for about 30 seconds and as soon as the chillies start to darken add the shallot and curry leaves. Cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, until the shallot starts to brown.

Give the dal a stir and thin with a little boiling water if necessary. Pour into a serving dish, top with the temper and stir until just combined.

Serve with steamed basmati rice or paratha.

(* Reproduced with permission from 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney. Photo copyright: Emily Weaving)

Summer up North, Smoked Mackerel Rillettes With Rye Crisps Recipe from ScandiKitchen Midsommar by Bronte Aurell

Summer lunch up North (meaning Scandinavia) has seafood rillettes on the menu.

Like this Smoked Mackerel Rillettes With Rye Crisps recipe from ScandiKitchen: Midsommar: Simply Delicious Food for Summer Days (Ryland Peters & Small, 2018, 2021) by Brontë Aurell, co-owner of ScandiKitchen in West London.

Smoked Mackerel Rillettes With Rye Crisps

This is a super-easy way to prepare an appetizer or light lunch. Rillettes are a coarse, potted meat similar to pâté that are stirred together and spread on toast. They’re usually made with fatty pork (or duck) leftovers, but I love making rillettes with fish. This recipe works well with both smoked mackerel and smoked salmon.

Smoked Mackerel Rillettes from ScandiKitchen Midsommar


8–12 thin slices of rye bread or store-bought rye crisps (available in supermarkets) 

200 ml/3⁄4 cup crème fraîche

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons chopped chives

squeeze of fresh lime juice

1⁄2 teaspoon horseradish sauce

300 g/10 1⁄2 oz. smoked mackerel

freshly ground black pepper (hold the salt until you taste it, some mackerel is very salty)


1⁄4 small fennel bulb

1⁄2 apple

freshly squeezed lemon juice

fresh pea shoots

4 individual serving glasses

Serves 4 as a generous appetizer or light lunch


If using rye bread, preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) Gas 1. Slice the rye bread very thinly and place on a baking tray. If the bread is too thick it will be hard to eat as crispy bread, so do make sure it is thinly sliced. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10–20 minutes (depending on your bread) until completely dry. You can make it several days ahead and store in an airtight container.

Mix the crème fraîche with the mustard, chives, lime juice and horseradish (if using). Remove the skin from the mackerel and add the fish to the crème fraîche mixture. Stir just until mixed – I like my rillettes with a few chunky bits, but some people prefer it smoother. If you like yours smoother, simply mix a while longer. Check for seasoning and add black pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture into the serving glasses. Chill until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, slice the fennel and apple very thinly, ideally using a mandoline. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to stop the apple going brown and mix well. Serve the apple and fennel salad with pea shoots, the glasses of mackerel and the rye toast on the side. You may need extra toast as the mackerel makes a generous portion.

( Reproduced with permission from ScandiKitchen: Midsommar: Simply Delicious Food for Summer Days By Brontë AurellRyland Peters & Small, 2021 / photography by Peter Cassidy © Ryland Peters & Small, 2018, 2021)

P.S: Please note that the recipes in ScandiKitchen: Midsommar are the same as in ScandiKitchen Summer, which was published in 2018.

Don't Drop the Ball, Lache Pas La Boulette, Shrimp Boulettes Recipe from Mosquito Supper Club Cookbook

Don't drop the ball, lache pas la boulette, with this Shrimp Boulettes recipe from Mosquito Supper Club (Artisan Books, April 2020) by Melissa Martin.

Shrimp Boulettes

Shrimp boulettes, or fried shrimp balls, might remind you of Thai fish cakes or Vietnamese shrimp on sugarcane. The shrimp is ground up and fried without any flour or cornmeal (shrimp is sticky enough to bind the vegetables together, so you don’t need to add any filler). Eat the boulettes as a snack with hot sauce, or put some on a roll with bitter greens, cocktail sauce, or spicy mayo to turn them into a sandwich. Either way, they are a great way to eat small fresh shrimp.

Serves 6

Shrimp Boulette Mosquite Supper Club


¾ cup (110 g) coarsely chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped green onion

¼ cup (25 g) coarsely chopped celery

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1¼ pounds (565 g) peeled and deveined small or medium shrimp

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

⅛ teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more as needed

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon hot sauce, preferably Original Louisiana Hot Sauce, plus more as needed

Peanut oil, for frying


In a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, green onion, celery, parsley, shrimp, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and hot sauce and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Using an old-fashioned meat grinder or a food processor, grind the mixture together. If using a food processor, work in small batches and pulse until smooth, then transfer to a bowl. In either case, after grinding, you should not see any vegetables; the boulette mix should be a homogenous paste.

Fill a large heavy-bottomed pot with 4 inches (10 cm) of peanut oil and heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375°F (190°C). (Alternatively, use a tabletop fryer; see page 25.)

Using two spoons or a small (#100) cookie scoop, form a ball of the boulette mix no bigger than the diameter of a quarter and carefully drop it into the hot oil. Fry this tester boulette for about 6 minutes, until golden brown on the outside. Transfer the boulette to a paper towel or a brown paper bag to drain excess oil and let it cool. Taste the boulette: Does the mix need more salt? More pepper or more heat? Add salt, black pepper, cayenne, or hot sauce to your liking—I like boulettes to have a slight vinegary taste, and hot sauce gives them that flavor. There is no one perfect formula. You have to taste your mix every time.

Once you have adjusted your mix, drop about 15 balls at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer the boulettes to paper towels or brown paper bags to drain and cool briefly, then serve.

The boulette mix will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 days. If making ahead of time, add the salt right before frying to keep the mix from getting watery.

(“Excerpted from Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin -Artisan Books- Copyright © 2020. Photographs by Denny Culbert")

Excellent Birds, Laurie Anderson's Birdhouse Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts, Snap Peas, and Mushrooms

Excellent Birds, Laurie Anderson's Birdhouse Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts, Snap Peas, and Mushrooms from The Ladies Village Improvement Society Cookbook by Florence Fabricant (Rizzoli, April 2020/ Photo © Doug Young)

Yes from that Laurie Anderson, another facet of the multi-media artist

Birdhouse Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts, Snap Peas, and Mushrooms by Laurie Anderson

This recipe, from the performance artist who lives part time in Springs, is flat-out delicious—so much so that when I made it for Thanksgiving instead of my usual potato gratin, no one missed the dish. The mushrooms were my idea, added with Laurie’s approval.




10 small Yukon gold potatoes
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 pint brussels sprouts (about 20), rinsed, trimmed, and halved
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup minced shallots
4 ounces medium cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered 1¼
cups heavy cream or half-and-half
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves


Bring a pot of water with ½ teaspoon salt to boil. Add the potatoes, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the potatoes and set them aside to cool. Add the peas to the pot, cook for 5 minutes, then drain them.

Toss the Brussels sprouts with 1½ teaspoons of the olive oil and the lemon zest and season with salt. Arrange them cut side down in a large heavy skillet. Place over high heat, and when the Brussels sprouts start to sizzle, lower the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove them from the pan. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until they have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining oil. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have wilted, another 5 minutes or so. Add the peas and cook briefly, stirring, until they have softened a bit, about 3 minutes. Quarter the potatoes and add them.

In a small bowl, whisk the cream and mustard together and add to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes to slightly thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warm dish, scatter with the thyme, and serve.

Thanksgiving classics

(*Laurie Anderson's Birdhouse Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts, Snap Peas, and Mushrooms from The Ladies Village Improvement Society Cookbook by Florence Fabricant published by Rizzoli, April 2020/ Photo © Doug Young, reproduced with permission)

Life without Roasted Baby Artichokes with Bacon from 'Cooking Blokes & Artichokes' by Brendan Collins

Imagine life without artichokes.

You will not be able to, after tasting artichoke recipes like this one from Cooking Blokes and Artichokes,  A Modern Man's Kitchen Handbook (Kyle Books, April 2016) by chef Brendan Collins of Birch restaurant in Los Angeles.

Roasted Baby Artichokes With Bacon And Balsamic Vinegar

For the past fifteen years or so, it seems like every restaurant in the western hemisphere has had Brussels sprouts, bacon, and balsamic vinegar on its menu, and I’m guilty of it too. But it’s with good reason: the dish is seriously tasty. When I opened my new Hollywood restaurant, Birch, I wanted to do something equally as delicious but a little bit different. So I substituted baby artichokes, in season in the spring and summer, to freshen up a wintery dish for the warmer months. Baby artichokes have the same earthiness as Brussels sprouts, but with a unique, sweet nuttiness too.


9 baby artichokes (about 2 pounds)
2 lemons, cut in half
8 ounces thick−cut bacon, cut into 1/2−inch lardons
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons good−quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra−virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper


Prep each artichoke by removing the tough outer leaves and peeling the outer layer from the stem with a vegetable peeler or a paring knife. Cut off the top third of the artichoke to remove the tough ends of the leaves. Cut them in half lengthwise and give them a rub all over with one of the lemons as you work so they don’t oxidize and turn an unappealing brown color.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place a frying pan big enough to fit the artichokes in a single layer over medium heat. Add the bacon lardons and cook for 5 minutes, or until most of their fat has been rendered. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and set it aside on a plate.

Add the artichokes to the hot bacon fat in a single layer and let them brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft and tender.

Remove the pan from the oven and add the bacon back in, along with the rosemary and garlic. Return the pan to a burner over medium heat. Give your best go at sautéing, tossing the ingredients around; if you drop some, don’t worry, the dog will love you for it. Season with salt.

Add the vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, and let the vinegar reduce until sticky but not burnt, about 1 minute.

Transfer the artichokes and bacon to a serving bowl, drizzle with the oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from Cooking Blokes and Artichokes,  A Modern Man's Kitchen Handbook (Kyle Books, April 2016) by chef Brendan Collins of Birch...)

Sauteed Shishito Peppers with Miso and Ginger from 'Preserving the Japanese Way'

Chile adds a bit of heat to this first excerpt from Preserving the Japanese WayTraditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen (Andrews McMeel, August 2015) by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Shishito Peppers sauteed with Miso and Ginger (Shishito no Abura Miso) 

Serves 6

Shishito peppers are all the rage in Northern California and easily obtainable. I love them charred in oil, served with a sprinkling of salt, but the salty, earthy miso treatment here complements the bitterness of the peppers. A bit of heat from the chile and pop from the ginger make this a can’t-get-enough dish. Padrón peppers can be substituted, but omit the chile, as Padróns are plenty hot on their own.

4 or more teaspoons sake

4 teaspoons brown rice miso

¾ pound (350 g) shishito peppers

1 tablespoon organic canola oil

1 small dried japones or ½ arból chile pepper, torn in thirds

2 teaspoons slivered ginger


In a small bowl, mash the sake into the miso. The resulting paste should be loose enough to slurp around the peppers, so if your miso is unusually stiff, splash in a bit more sake.

Leave the stems intact on the shishito peppers, but snip off the discolored tips of the stems to refresh. Heat the oil with the dried red chile pepper in a large wok over medium heat until the pepper turns bright red. Throw in the shishito peppers and toss to coat with oil. Scatter in the ginger and toss gently for several minutes, until the peppers start to jump and pop and small blisters appear here and there on their skins. Remove the pan from the heat, scrape in the miso-sake mixture, and stir quickly with a flat wooden spoon so the peppers are coated evenly but the miso does not burn from the heat of the pan. Slide into a serving bowl as soon as the miso is incorporated, since the peppers will deflate and lose some vibrancy if left in the hot pan. Serve with drinks before dinner or alongside Soy Sauce–Soused Steak (page 111).

(Recipe reproduced from Preserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen by Nancy Singleton Hachisu/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, August 2015)

Don't Let Garden Mint Go to Waste, Lamb and Mint Sliders from 'Flavors of Summer'

 Don't Let Good Mint Go to Waste with this 2nd recipe from Flavors of Summer (Ryland Peters & Small, April 2015) after Pissaladiere...

Lamb and Mint Sliders
 with Roast Potatoes and Watercress

Create a roast-lamb dinner
 in miniature form with these gourmet sliders. They taste great in a bun, but even better served inside roast potato rounds.

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 roughly-equal rounds of potato, unpeeled

200 g/7 oz. lean minced/ground lamb

6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon beaten egg

a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

a handful of watercress or rocket/arugula

4 cocktail sticks/toothpicks

Lamb Mint Sliders

Makes 4

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the oil on a baking sheet and lay the potato slices on top, turn to coat and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Put the lamb in a bowl with the mint, breadcrumbs, egg and salt and pepper. Work together with your hands until evenly mixed. Divide the mixture into quarters and shape into four slider patties. Press each slider down to make them nice and flat.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan/skillet and fry the sliders over medium–high heat for 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Put one potato round on each serving plate and put a cooked slider on top of each. Top with a few leaves of watercress and finish with another potato round. Put a cocktail stick/toothpick through the middle of each slider to hold them together and serve. 

(Lamb and Mint Sliders from 'Flavors of Summer' -Ryland Peters & Small, $24.95- Recipe credits:  Miranda Ballard,  Photo credits: Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small 2015)                                                                           


Cote d'Azur on your Plate for July 4th, Pissaladiere with Provencal Olive Relish from 'Flavors of Summer'

Find Cote d'Azur on your Plate for July 4th, Pissaladiere by Valerie Aikman-Smith from Flavors of Summer (Ryland Peters & Small, April 2015).

Pissaladière with Provençal olive relish

You will fall in love with Pissaladière the first time you bite into a slice. The saltiness of the anchovies and sweetness of the caramelized onions with olive relish is sensational.


375 g/3 cups all-purpose/plain flour
7 g/1⁄4 oz. active dry/fast action yeast
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
300 ml/11⁄4 cups warm water
125 ml/1⁄2 cup olive oil, plus extra to serve
8 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced

Provençal Olive Relish (see below)

12–14 anchovy fillets
15 pitted black olives
fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish
a baking sheet, greased with olive oil



Begin by making the dough. Place the flour, yeast, thyme and salt in a ceramic bowl, and mix together. Stir in the water and 60 ml/ 1/4 cup of the oil until combined. Cover with a paper towel or clingfilm/plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 2 1/2–3 hours until it doubles in size.

To caramelize the onions, place a large skillet/frying pan over medium–low heat and add the remaining olive oil and the onions. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and soft. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 260ºC (500ºF) Gas 10 or as high as it will go.

Turn the risen dough out onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently press the dough with the palms of your hands, stretching it to the edges of the pan. Spread the onions over the dough and randomly dollop the Provençal Olive Relish on top. Arrange the anchovies and olives evenly on top.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 15–20 minutes, until the dough is golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and slice into portions.

Serve, garnished with sprigs of thyme and a drizzle of olive oil.

Provençal olive relish

This is Provence in a jar! The olives are drenched in oil and spiced with capers and salty anchovies. It works perfectly atop bruschetta, pizzas, crudités, and pickled eggs, or lightly spread on chicken before roasting in the oven.

200 g/2 cups pitted Kalamata olives, drained
12 anchovy fillets
40 g/1⁄4 cup capers, drained
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
60 ml/1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to cover
cracked black pepper
sterilized glass jars with airtight lids


Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture is almost smooth but still has some texture. Season with pepper.
Pack the relish into a sterilized glass jar and drizzle with a little olive oil to cover the surface. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

(* Recipe by Valerie Aikman-Smith, Photography by Erin Kunkel, Reproduced with permission from 'Flavors of Summer'- Ryland Peters & Small, April 2015)