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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pissaladiere, the acceptable early morning pizza

Posted by on Sat, May 18, 2013 at 9:59 AM

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Mylo Coffee Company has become something of a legend at the various area farmers markets, with folks lined up well in advance of each market's opening for a cup of coffee and one of their many pastries. We've talked before about their kouign amann, the puff pastry delight that is normally the first to sell out, and I agree that it's one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth. But my tastes swing more to the savory rather than the sweet — and not surprisingly, Mylo has just the thing: the pissaladiere.

The pissaladiere has a storied history, arriving in France from Rome during the time when the Papacy was based in Avignon, surviving against all odds during the various reformations and revolutions to wind up on a fold-away table in Little Rock. The pastry is similar to pizza, only better in every way: instead of solid crust, the base of Mylo's dish is a thick layer of homemade phyllo dough, chewy and crisp all at once. Atop this luxurious base are caramelized onions, a thick layer of jam-like tomatoes, shredded cheese, and whole kalamata olives. The result is a buttery, tangy, slightly sweet and wonderfully salty dish that is one of the most perfect flavor profiles I've ever eaten. I've always been a fan of the morning-after slice of cold pizza — and the Mylo pissaladiere is like taking that idea to Michelin-star levels.

Because of local restrictions about selling prepared meat from a farmers market booth, Stephanos and Monica Mylonas have been forced to get creative with their dishes, including the pissaladiere, which traditionally includes anchovies. The couple is more than up to the task of changing their recipes to suit those guidelines, though, creating a host of vegetarian savory pastries that will suit the tooth of even the most dedicated carnivore. The Mylonas' sweets are popular, and rightfully so, but if you crave savory like I do, you'll find your perfect morning companion with this little square piece of cheesy, salty joy. It's become my go-to weekend breakfast — so if you all go out to try it, be sure to save me one.

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