File this under recipes to make Martha Stewart scoff. But on Saturday morning–this was last week–I looked deep into my fridge and deep into my soul and came up with the breakfast you see here. I’m actually pretty proud of it, mostly because it used up lots of ingredients I had lying around: garlic, parsley, anchovies, Parmesan, celery, eggs and olive oil. I wanted the omelet to reflect the flavors in the celery; I also liked the idea of the textural differences between those two things. So here’s how this all went down.
When I went to Paris in 2005, the warm croissants certainly set my heart aflutter, as did the cracklingly fresh baguettes and the dainty, delicate macarons. But the moment my heart almost stopped beating from the shock of deliciousness was the moment I tasted my first Pierre Hermé dessert, a dessert called H. Mogador that contained, “Biscuit au citron, gelee de fruit de la passion, ganache chocolat au lait et fruit de la passion.” It was basically a chocolate popsicle filled with passionfruit, one of my favorite flavors; I didn’t eat it, I inhaled it (watch me on video here). That dessert was the first thing I thought of when years later–this year, in fact–I found Pierre Hermé’s dessert cookbook (which he wrote along with Dorie Greenspan) at the used book store on my street. I immediately snatched it up.
The question often comes up: “Do you like baking more than savory cooking? Or the other way around?”
I always give a thoughtful, complicated answer but there’s a much easier way to address the question: look to your right, scroll down. See where it says Recipes By Category? Look at the numbers. 36 salads. 22 soups. And (drumroll) 153 desserts. Um, so yes, I really like baking and, more importantly, I really like dessert, both making it and eating it.
If I do a post on Friday, it’s usually because I have a weekend breakfast that I want you to make. There was that time I told you how to make eggs, biscuits and bacon; and let’s not forget these banana walnut waffles. This weekend, all you’ll need are a few stray Yukon gold potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, some slivers of garlic, finely chopped rosemary (use the fresh stuff) and a hard Italian cheese (Pecorino or Parmesan) and you can have this breakfast ready in no time.
You say “chocolate cake,” and the masses come; you say “olive oil zucchini cake” and there’s a bit of a silence. “Ummm,” a timid voice emerges a few seconds later. “What kind of cake did you say?”
It’s olive oil zucchini cake, timid-voiced person! Or, rather, zucchini olive oil cake. It comes from Babbo pastry chef Gina DePalma’s book “Dolce Italiano” and one bite will make a convert out of you. It’s moist, it’s got terrific fall spices (cinnamon? check. ginger? you got it. nutmeg? who’s your daddy?) and there’s a “lemon crunch” glaze on top that’ll make you pucker your lips in delight. Craig’s friend Alena was dubious at first, but after one bite she declared “this is AMAZING” and asked for a second piece. The defense rests.