In the fall of 2015, my husband and I spent a lovely vacation in the Provençal countryside with our friend Stéphane Gabart. If you’re not familiar with him, you should be. He writes the inspirational blog “My French Heaven,” and he’s also a professional culinary guide, chef and photographer.
But this trip was different in that we traveled from Bordeaux through Provence, ending up at le Côte d’Azur at the end. So for two full weeks, we really saw Provence, thanks to the itinerary Stéphane customized for us. I wasn’t familiar with many of the villages, like Boulbon, Gordes, Grasse, and Tourrettes. All were awe-inspiring.
Near Aix en Provence, we visited a working olive farm, Bastide du Laval, had a tasting, and walked the trails amongst the olive groves.
This photo shows Niçoise olives ripening.
At every happy hour in Provence, along with our cocktails, we were served olives. Some were whole, some were made into a tapenade, and all were delicious.
At one hotel we were served olives with what I’m sure was olive cake – a savory quick bread.
The olive cake I’m making today is reminiscent of the lovely bread I enjoyed while sipping rosé underneath golden sycamores.
This is the recipe I’m using, although I can’t credit anyone or any publication; I couldn’t even find it online.
I pretty much made the recipe as is, except for increasing the cheese to 7 ounces, all grated, and omitting the ham.
The bread/cake turned out perfectly.
I served it still warm with cheese, olives, salami and oven-roasted tomatoes.
I think the cake would have been fine with just the olive oil and tapenade, but the chopped olives added a nice texture.
Next time I will make this olive cake the same way.
note: I omitted the ham in this specific recipe, but if you want something more fun, check out the raclette quick bread I made a few years ago for the blog, pictured below. It contains sun-dried tomatoes, pancetta, raclette, pine nuts, and herbs. In fact, it just shows how creative you can get with a basic savory quick bread recipe!