I finally got a well-deserved break from all the stress in London. Oh what a joy to leave the city over Easter and swap it for the laid-back lifestyle of the South of France. Where food is part of the national culture, where runny cheeses melt away in front of your eyes, where tomatoes still taste of the real thing and where people do their shopping at the local market. Every time I’m in the South of France I really appreciate this relaxed joie de vivre. In fact, my whole stay just involved lying in the sun, walking along the beach promenades and eating. Lots of eating. The first stop: Cannes’ local market (Marché Forville).
Really, don’t you find that the nicest thing about going abroad is to go to the local markets? They say all about your holiday destination’s place: its people, its regional and seasonal food, its way of life, it all transmits itself to you while you wander around the busy market stalls.
The flower stalls made me feel like spring is finally here. All the beautiful colours and scents. Very nice
France really is a paradise for all things meat and cheese. So much to choose from, it’s hard to decide what to go home with in the end…
One of the absolute must-eats in the South of France are these little ‘ravioles’. They’re really delicate tiny ravioli, either stuffed with cheese or meat. My favourite local restaurant serves them with a creamy pesto sauce. They’re really just toooooo good! So when I bought some at the market I decided to take some pictures of those little delicacies. I told the man serving me “J’adore les ravioles” (I love ravioles), whilst taking photos. And he just answered “Et les photos aussi.” (And you love taking pictures too). Very sweet that guy!
Amongst the numerous beautiful stalls was a busy merchant selling all things olive and olive-related. This is where we always buy olive tapenade to spread on our baguettes for lunch. Today, they also had some wonderful looking pesto, so we decided to get some and maybe add them to the ravioles for lunch. However, once we got home I had another idea. “Why don’t we make a cake? A pesto cake?” Et hop, un deux trois, a cake was made. Very simple. Very miam, like the French say.
Pesto Pine nut Cake
makes one loaf
50ml olive oil
100g grated gruyère cheese (or mature cheddar)
3 tablespoons of pesto
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
2 teaspoons of baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180°
Roast the pine nuts in a pan until golden.
In a bowl mix the eggs with the olive oil, milk and pesto. Add the flour, baking powder, cheese and pine nuts. Season with pepper and some salt (I didn’t use any salt since my pesto was already very salty, but it depends on how yours is). Pour the batter into a buttered cake tin and bake for 50 mins.
Soooo easy, and soooo yummy!