Jim Dixon has written about food for WW for more than 20 years, but these days most of his time is devoted to his olive oil-focused specialty foods business. Market well spent. Jim has always loved to eat and he encourages his customers to cook by sending them recipes every week via his newsletter. We are happy to see him again creating special dishes just for WW readers.
If you’re in France and see the phrase “salty cake”, don’t assume you’ve found a discount on sweet baked goods. While Franglais, the insertion of English words into everyday French, is both common and controversial, this easily missed diacritic at the end of salty keeps the word firmly Gaulish. It means salty.
Basically a savory quick bread, savory cakes appear most often at the early evening aperitif, shorthand for the aperitif, the hour before dinner reserved for drinks and a few snacks. But they’re hearty enough to serve as part of a light meal with a side salad or bowl of soup.
This one is adapted from a recipe by famous baker Dorie Greenspan found in a cheese shop in Paris. Feel free to play with added ingredients. Olives, capers and other herbs go well with cheese, and salami or other cold cuts can be used in place of ham, or it can be omitted.
1 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons of yeast
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large eggs
1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1 tbsp for greasing
3-4 ounces cooked ham, diced
4 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (about 1 cup)
6 ounces plain goat cheese log, crumbled
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, baking powder, black pepper and salt in a large bowl. Use a separate bowl to combine the eggs, yogurt, and olive oil, then add them to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in ham and cheeses.
Grease a 10 inch skillet or a 9 x 12 inch skillet with the remaining olive oil. Add the batter and smooth the top with a spatula or silicone spoon. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely before serving.