This is the first time since I started this blog, that I haven’t updated it for this long. Its not for the lack of want, more like having to accept there are only 24 hours in a day and just so much I can do, despite being über- efficient.
I’ve been busy working food from different angles, but not before I recovered from the previous post, which took longer then anticipated.
The fall is here, despite it being warmer now then a hot day in August, and apples, Jerusalem artichokes and other fall vegetables are finally starting to appear in the markets in full glory.
it’s also the olive picking season.
I took a day trip to an olive grove that belongs to one of the finest olive oil producers in the land days before the olive harvest begins. Set by the Sea of Galilee, the fattoria grows and produces 7 different olive varieties from across the Mediterranean such as Suri, Barnea, Coratina, koroneiki, picholine, arbequina, leccino and piqual.
In order for an olive tree to produce it must cross-pollinate with a different variety so the grove is mixed, alternating every few rows.
I picked a handful of each variety and took them home with me. I made a cut in the flesh of each olive and set in a bowl of water for a week, changing the water daily. This is done to extract the bitterness from the olives, now resting in a sterilized jar by the window, infused with water, salt, herbs and spices. Now comes the waiting part. So I wait.
In the meantime, apples are calling me and whilst I do love me an apple cake, I decided to try as a savoury one. Paired with walnuts and a semi hard goats cheese, the result was part cake, part bread. I'll call it a loaf. It gives off the aroma of a comforting apple cake, of autumn, of home, but the bite is surprising in its maturity and the flavour isn’t masked by sweetness. It can be served as a side dish, for a picnic a brunch, or as part of a light lunch.
Apple walnut goats cheese loaf
Adapted from a recipe in the NYTimes
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup AP flour, sifted
¾ cup whole wheat flour, sifted
2 Tsp baking powder
1 Tsp salt
½ Tsp freshly ground peppercorns
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup goats milk yogurt
1 granny smith apple, cored, peeled and diced
50 gr semi hard goats cheese (like Bouche, for example), crumbled
Handful of walnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
Atlantic sea salt
Needles from a Rosemary twigs
Preheat the oven to 175ºC and use olive oil to oil a loaf pan.
In a large bowl combine flours, baking powder, salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl lightly whisk the eggs, then add the yogurt and olive oil and whisk to combine.
Fold the liquids into the flour mixture and mix until it all comes together. The dough is pretty dry and thick, but don’t worry.
Fold the diced apple, crumbled goats cheese and walnuts into the dough and transfer to the loaf pan.
Drizzle some olive oil and scatter the rosemary needles and the sea salt above.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the loaf has turned golden and a knife inserted in the centre comes out dry.
Allow to cool for several minutes before realising the loaf from the pan, and leave on a rack to cool completely.
Use a serrated knife to slice the loaf and serve with a dollop of fresh sour cream.
The loaf can be kept frozen, tightly wrapped in foil.
Note: If you’re not a fan of goats milk, you can substitute the cheese and yogurt with sheep’s milk. for other variation trv substituting the apple and walnuts with other seasonal fruit, nuts and seeds, different herbs, or salumi of your choice.