Savoury Olive Cake Appetizer
Aurelie Gilabert, the founder of Avignon Gourmet Tours, is an Avignon native who seamlessly navigates her way between three languages (French, English and Portuguese). She offers guided tours of the papal city with just the right blend of historical information and foodie tidbits – be prepared to sample local treats along your walk. Aurelie agreed to share her recipe for Nyons olive cake, a savoury appetizer, with Perfectly Provence readers.
Needless to say, in the south of France love “L’apéro,” as we call it here. Call it aperitif, pre-dinner nibbles; it’s all about sharing a great time with your friends and family. A traditional aperitif is made of different olive varieties, tomatoes (either confites or small fresh ones), some nice cheese and sometimes cold meat cuts. But if you have some time on your hands, it’s always nice to add one or two homemade delights.
Here is a recipe for a savoury olive cake or bread that can be eaten on its own or even replace the bread for your dinner. We’ll use a local variety of olives called “Nyons”. They are protected by a quality label that guarantees their origins and quality. They grow in the town of the same name (Nyons), located 70km north of Avignon and are picked at full maturity between December and January. If you can’t get your hands on Nyons Olives, try and look for good quality black olives (Greek Kalamatas, for example).
Savoury Olive Cake
- 100 g Nyons olives pitted
- 150 g Plain Flour
- 2 Free range eggs
- 4 tbsp double cream
- 4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
- 1/2 tsp chopped thyme
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- Preheat your oven at 180°C
- Grease the base and line a loaf pan
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the salt, pepper and sugar until the volume doubles.
- Add the thyme, rosemary, cream and oil. Use a sieve to add the flour and baking powder to the mixture.
- Put in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. To check if the cake is ready, insert a skewer in the center of the cake. It should come out clean.
- Leave to rest for about 5 minutes in the tin before turning out on a wiring rack to cool.