Provençal Black Olive and Onion Tart

This simple tart uses pungent Niçoise olives that are grown in Provence.  It combines the earthy flavors of root vegetables with salty, sun-drenched olives. While this is baking, your rainyday house will be filled with the buttery pastry aromas of southern France. It never fails to bring the neighbors around sniffing for a taste.  

Provençal Black Olive and Onion Tart. Photo by Frances Janisch for The Fire Island Cookbook

Provençal Black Olive and Onion Tart. Photo by Frances Janisch for The Fire Island Cookbook

Wine Pairing : Fleurs de Prairie Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France

This bright and fruity rosé from Provence will not be overpowered by the olives and onions in this Provençal favorite.   

Provençal Black Olive and Onion Tart 

For the crust: 

  • 1 ¼ cup flour

  • ½ cup butter

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground rosemary

  • 2-3 teaspoons of ice water

Combine flour, rosemary and salt in a glass mixing bowl.  Using your fingers, rub in the butter until the mixture looks like small breadcrumbs. Make a well in the center and add the egg.  Mix well with your hands and add water as necessary until the dough holds together. Remove the dough from the bowl and work into a ball.  Be careful not to overwork the dough, as it can get “tough”.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. 

Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on lightly floured surface.  Place dough into a buttered 2 piece tart pan—the type with an outside ring and removable bottom. Place pan in refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

For the garnish:  8 four-inch rosemary sprigs.  

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 3 small Vidalia onions coarsely diced

  • ¾ cup pitted Niçoise olives

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon salt 

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and add the butter.  Sauté the onions until soft and add the olives.  Season with black pepper and salt and continue to cook through for ten minutes.  Set aside. 


Remove the chilled tart pan from the refrigerator, prick the bottom with a fork, and place in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add the filling. Spread evenly.  Return to the oven for 18-22 minutes until crust is golden in color.  Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.  

To Serve:  Cut into eight equal pieces, place each on a small salad plate. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.  

From THE FIRE ISLAND COOKBOOK Copyright © 2012 by The World Wine Guys, LLC published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.