Some recipes I try because they read like instructions to the most delicious thing in the universe. Others, I pursue purely out of curiosity. Take, for example, this pistachio and chorizo cake. A quirky combination that I struggled to get my cerebral tastebuds around, there was only one way to find out what such a thing was all about...
Perhaps better described as a quick bread as it is by no means sweet, this is one of those "perfect for picnic" snacks. Easily portable and filled with a plethora of tasty morsels it's almost enough by itself, with so much going on there's no real need for toppings or spreads. Consider it a repurposed picnic loaf that can double as nibbles with first drinks as the evening kicks off, or a centrepiece for afternoon grazing while you're languishing on that hot summer's day.
Simple to prepare, it's one of those everyday gems where you can throw in whatever you feel like, so long as you've got all of the salty, spicy and crunchy bases covered. So if you're after something savoury, why not let them eat 'cake'?
CHORIZO PISTACHIO CAKE (Adapted from this recipe by David Lebovitz)
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 150 g plain flour
- 50 g wholemeal flour
- 12 g baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 3 eggs
- 200 g natural yoghurt
- 80 g spicy chorizo*, skinned and diced
- 100 g feta, cubed
- 40 g semi-dried tomatoes, diced
- 40 g olives, pitted and diced
- 100 g shelled unsalted pistachios
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 23-cm loaf pan and sprinkle with sesame seeds, tilting the pan as you go to make sure they cover all the sides.
Sift the flours, baking powder, chilli powder and salt together into a small bowl. In a medium bowl mix the egg and yoghurt then add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold through the chorizo, feta, tomatoes, olives, nuts and parsley then scrape into the prepared pan. Smooth the top of the cake, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 50-60 minutes until it feels just set in the centre. Leave for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve thinly sliced.
** I'd recently been given some beautiful fresh chorizo, which I fried off and used instead. While it was delicious, use a firm, spicy chorizo to add some colour to the 'cake'.