french-style zucchini olive cake

I was looking for a new recipe to try using the last of my homegrown zucchini, and I found this from one of my favorite food blogs, The Kitchn.  It is actually a recipe for a cake salé, the French term for a savory cake, using kalamata olives, grated zucchini, and tangy goat cheese.  Many French households have their favorite variation which is often served at picnics, potlucks, and parties, where it is usually served as an appetizer with a glass of wine or Champagne.

This French-style cake is baked in a loaf pan, using whatever ingredients are on hand.  I love having a basic cake recipe like this because it is simple to make and encourages my creativity in the kitchen with different flavor combinations. Next time, I will bake one with tomato, mozzarella, and basil. (I know these are not French ingredients, but that combination of flavors in a cake sound good to me, just the same.)  Since it is French, you know it would contain cheese, and Gruyère and Comté  come to mind immediately, of course, as well as parmesan, cheddar, feta, or goat cheese. A cake salé could also contain vegetables, herbs, meats, fruits, or nuts.  Instead of butter, use olive oil, which is healthier and lends a more subtle savory flavor.

This cake is more like a quick bread, or a cross in texture between a muffin and a quiche. It is made much like a muffin, with the dry ingredients mixed together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another, and the two are combined.  To the American palate, this type of cake is more likely to be eaten for breakfast.  Yes, I, too, enjoyed it with my morning coffee, but I can also imagine this cake cut into small bites and served with an aperitif at my next dinner party.

Since I followed the recipe exactly as written, I won’t be reprinting it here. Click on the link for the original recipe found in The Kitchn.

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21 thoughts on “french-style zucchini olive cake

  1. Catching up on the posts I missed while I was away … this is lovely Daisy. I’ve done savory yeast breads but not many savory quick breads. A nice and unusual use for zucchini.

  2. I like this idea! I made a banana bread this week that was equal parts sweet and savory–it had some sugar but it was balanced by rye flour, basil and mint–so good! Next time I might have to go even further toward the savory side with the olives and cheese–yum!

  3. So funny that when I think of zucchini bread, I think of the sweet version….a savory zucchini bread (with kalamata olives and goat cheese ohhhhh yum) sounds delightful! I have a lot of zucchini to use up as well, so this recipe has me super excited! Glad to have found it!

    • Thanks, Julia, and welcome to my blog. I used to always think sweet breads as well, until this recipe changed my mind. It’s nice to have this recipe as a base for all kinds of combinations.


    • It would be great with soup, Patti. Although it’s close to 100 degrees here and I don’t think it will ever be cool enough to have soup. I am so ready for cooler weather.


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