In France, a “cake” is anything that’s baked in a long loaf pan. All sorts of savoury combinations end up in cakes: shrimp and red peppers, proscuitto and artichokes, chicken and pesto..Savoury cakes travel well. They can go on a picnic or get fancy and join a buffet. You can call this one–with arugula and pine nuts–‘bread’ and have it with a soup or salad course. Or you can slice it thin and serve it all by itself with a before-dinner drink.
Arugula and Pine Nut Loaf Cake (1 loaf)
- 1 and 1/3 cups flour
- 3 ounces of plain yoghurt
- 4 cups of arugula, measured by packing it down into a liquid mesuring cup
- 3/4 cup of Parmesan, grated, and several more Tablespoons for sprinkling on top of the cake
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts, plus a few Tablespoons for decorating the loaf
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 3 ounces of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- a loaf pan (The loaf in the photo was baked in a 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 3″ loaf pan. Any size pan will work if you adjust the baking time. For a clear explanation of how to do this, click here.)
- baking paper, also known as parchment paper
1. Four cups of arugula is a sizeable amount. If you have a scale, you can measure 150 grams, and that will be about the equivalent of the four cups.
2. Otherwise, press the arugula down into a liquid measuring cup. Then smash the two cloves of garlic:
4. Measure the 3 ounces of olive oil into a measuring cup. Put 2 Tablespoons of it in a pan big enough to hold the lettuce and heat it. Add the smashed garlic cloves and the arugula leaves and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes:
5. Grind some salt and fresh pepper over the wilted arugula:
8. In one bowl, mix together the flour and the baking powder. In another bowl, mix the eggs with the yoghurt, the rest of the olive oil, the sugar and a pinch of salt. Gradually add the flour to the egg mixture: 9. Stir in the arugula and garlic, and any liquid they have formed from being ground. Add 3/4 cup of Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of pine nuts:
13. Cool the cake and slice it:
A Note: This cake is an adaptaion of one found in the French cooking magazine, Cuisine Actuelle, whose editors suggest taking one of these savoury cakes on a picnic-first slicing it, then putting it back in the pan, covered, to transport.
Arugula and Pine Nut Cake is included as an hors d’oeuvre in the Dinner Menu: A Welcome Dinner for an Out-of-Town Visitor who has Traveled Far.
© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011