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’s a professional culinary guide, chef and photographer. View his inspiring work at his website Stéphane Gabart.
This trip was different in that we traveled from Bordeaux through Provence, ending up at le Côte d’Azur. 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 tapenade, and all were delicious.
At one hotel we were served olives with what I’m sure was olive cake – a savory quick bread baked in a loaf pan, called cake salé in France.
The olive cake I’m making today is reminiscent of the lovely bread I enjoyed while sipping rosé underneath golden sycamores. Who doesn’t love that?!
This is the recipe I’m using, although I can’t credit anyone or any publication; I couldn’t even find it online.
Savory Olive Cake
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 my raclette quick bread, pictured below.
It contains sun-dried tomatoes, pancetta, raclette, olives, and herbs. It just shows how creative you can get with a basic savory quick bread recipe!