Red pepper, feta and olive cake

red pepper, olive and feta cake b_001

I grew up with Les Cakes de Sophie book. Baking cakes was really my first approach to cooking. Sophie’s cakes are incredibly moist and delicious. I have few favorites including the three cheeses and the inimitable ham and olives. The problem with those cakes is that they usually contain a lot of fat (egg yolks, oil, cheese…). Also it make it a bit heavy if served as an appetizer. I love this red pepper cake recipe because it doesn’t need to add lot of fat. The red peppers keep the cake really moist. I made it as an appetizer for my special hosts from Canada who visited me in Paris through the website Vizeat. A memorable experience for us. Also I dedicate this Fiesta Friday to this fantastic evening.

Ingredients:

  • 2 big or 3 small red peppers
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g/5,3oz flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 13cl/4,3fl.oz milk
  • 4cl/1,3fl.oz olive oil
  • 60g/2,1oz green olives without seed
  • 150g/5,3oz feta (or equivalent to the Greek cheese from sheep’s milk)

red pepper, olive and feta cake b_003Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F.

Place the red peppers on a grill covered with parchment paper. Cook for 30 minutes until the skin is dark. Leave to cool. Peel the red peppers and take the seeds out. Blend it and reserve 150g/5,3oz of red peppers puree.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

Cut the olives in two. Cut the feta in cubes. In a bowl, mix the eggs, olive oil, milk, flour, baking powder and red peppers puree. Add the olives and feta and mix it gently.

Butter and flour a cake pan (24cmX9cm). Pour the mixture in the mold. Cook for 40-45 minutes. The knife should come out dry.

red pepper, olive and feta cake b_002

Summer vegetable terrine with sauce vierge (by Ladurée)

Summer vegetable terrine with sauce vierge

I once bought the Entertaining book by Ladurée – L’Art de Recevoir in French. I was first disappointed with the 10 mini books. One is an address book, the other nine contain 10 to 15 recipes but including some with no directions at all but “a go to your closest the boutique to order”. Not buying a recipe book to get to go to the shop! Disillusion past, I had a closest look to the books. And I found some interesting ideas and recipes in it. Including this superb summer vegetable terrine with sauce vierge. Absolutely amazing. My version is a bit gross as I didn’t cut the veggies very regularly, not using a mandoline. Plus I reversed the eggplant and zucchinis. Anyway, it tasted great. Only downside of this recipe, do not look for the perfect slice cut as there is no setting agent in the terrine. It would surely be easy to do but I just love the smooth texture of it without a jelly mash.

Summer vegetable terrine with sauce vierge (by Ladurée)

To cook one day in advance

Ingredients :

For a 20cm/8inches Ø rectangular mold

Terrine

  • 4-5 tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 5cl/1,5fl.oz olive oil + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1-2 zucchinis
  • 10g/0,4oz thyme
  • 20+3 basil leaves.
  • 2 onions
  • 80g/2,8 black olives

Sauce vierge

  • 1 tomato
  • 50g/1,8oz shallots
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 5cl/1,5fl.oz olive oil
  • salt, white pepper

Summer vegetables terrine-2

Directions:

The sauce vierge. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross on the tomatoes bottom. Plunge in boiling water for 30 seconds. Take them off the water and plunge in cold water. Peel the tomatoes. Cut in four segments. Take the seeds out. Cut in small pieces. Pour in a bowl.

Chop finely the shallots and basil. Add to the tomatoes.

Cut the lemon in two. Squeeze one half and pour the juice on the tomatoes.  Peel the other half. Take the seeds out. Cut in small pieces. Add to the sauce. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for 12 hours.

The vegetable terrine. Preheat the oven to 80°C/180°F. Wash the tomatoes. Slice them to a little 1/4 inch. Spread the salt and 2cl/0,6 fl.oz of olive oil on top. Cook for one hour. Reserve.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Slice the eggplant and zucchinis lengthwise using a mandoline . Smear 3cl/0,9 fl.oz of olive oil on it. Sprinkle the thyme. Cook for 10 minutes on a grill covered with parchment paper.

Chop the onions. Cook for 20 minutes in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Chop the olives and basil. Add to the onions and cook for 5 more minutes.

Cover the cake mold with food wrap. Place 3 basil leaves in the bottom. Place a first layer of eggplants, then tomatoes, onions and zucchinis. Repeat. Cover with food wrap. Place a weighted board on top. Refrigerate for 12 hours.

Serve the vegetable terrine with the sauce vierge on the side.

French Pissaladiere – Provencal onion and anchovy pizza

French Pissaladiere - red onion and anchovy pizza

Pissaladiere is one of the most famous dish from Nice area. It certainly brings some sun from the South of France in your plate. The recipe gets its name from pissala – a word from Provencal dialect – referring to an anchovy and sardine puree which was spread on the onion tart.

French Pissaladiere – Provencal onion and anchovy pizza

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 350g/12.5oz red onions
  • 250g/9oz bread/pizza dough (from the bakery)
  • 8-10 marinated anchovy
  • 30g/1oz black olives
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch of Provencal herbs

Pissaladiere nicoise

Directions:

  1. Peel and slice the red onions.
  2. In a hot pan, slowly cook the onions in a little of olive oil. Add the sugar and cook for 7-8 minutes.
  3. Increase to medium heat and pour the vinegar. Add 2-3 anchovy and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C/430°F.
  5. Place the dough on a flour-dusted surface. Use either in one piece to make one big pizza or cut in 4 pieces to make individuals’ (you might require more dough if making individual pizzas). Flatten the dough with your hand and then stretch it. I found this website makes a great description of how to stretch ia dough by hand : http://how-to-stretch-pizza-dough.blogspot.co.uk/.
  6. Spread the red onions and place anchovy and olives. Sprinkle Provencal herbs.
  7. Wait few minutes before cooking in the oven for 35 minutes until the crust edges are golden.