I got the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook a while back, and value it for creative, french recipes with an international touch. Some of the recipes are familiar parts of French cuisine, like quiche or Steak Tartare. But Clotilde is so creative, and offers innovate creations alongside french classics passed through generations. I've enjoyed the recipes I've tried in the past, and I realized a couple weeks ago that this book had been gathering dust on my bookshelf for longer than I would like!
The perfect occasion to pull the cookbook back out came along last weekend, when I was choosing a recipe for my book club get together. Our book had some Spanish references in it, so I decided to make something with a Spanish flavor to complement the Sangria our hostess was serving. I remembered a recipe for Chorizo, Sun Dried Tomato, and Pistachio loaf, decided the chorizo was enough of a Spanish spin for my tastes. This recipe was perfect for book club-- easy to hold in one hand, interesting and exotic, yet not too strange for the more cautious palates in the group. Everyone really loved it, and I was pleased with the results. I think this would be an ideal pre-dinner snack to serve along with a glass of white wine, like David Lebovitz recommends.
Tomato, Pistachio, and Chorizo Loaf
From Chocolate and Zucchini, by Clotilde Dusoulier
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sesame seeds-- one for the pan, one for the topping
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt (I used greek 2%)
3 1/2 oz Spanish chorizo, skin removed, diced
12 sun dried tomato halves, packed in oil, drained and finely diced
3/4 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
3/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan, sprinkle half the sesame seeds onto the bottom and sides, and shake the pan to coat.
Combine the flour and baking powder in a small mixing bowl and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, wisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour in the oil and yogurt, and whisk again. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Don't overmix- a few lumps are ok. Fold in the chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes, pistachios, and parsley. Stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, level the surface with a spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes our clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then unmold and cool completely on a rack. Cut into slices or cubes just before serving.