Like so many cooks I find recipes that inspire me and then tweak them to my own liking. I’m also an avid reader of cooking blogs and my favorite, Adventures of the Yankee Kitchen Ninja, regularly posts recipes that intrigue and inspire me. (It doesn’t hurt that this blog is also written by a fellow Mount Holyoke alum).
The Kitchen Ninja posted this recipe as a savory olive bread after having tweaked it herself from Susan Hermann Loomis, author of On Rue Tatin. See, this is how recipes evolve! The Kitchen Ninja’s recipe called for 3 1/2 cups of fresh spinach. Try as I might, I could not find any fresh spinach, or any suitable substitute in Albania in November. I used a small amount of frozen spinach instead and added in shredded carrots for bulk. I also added fresh chopped basil. The only jarred roasted red peppers I had in my pantry were marinated so I used those instead of the plain variety. The result? A tangy vegetable infused bread the blended together my favorite flavors of the Mediterranean.
MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLE BREAD
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frozen spinach, chopped and squeezed dry with leaves separated
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1 cup marinated roasted red peppers, chopped
1 heaping cup black olives, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
2) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
3) In another large bowl, beat the eggs; whisk in the olive oil, then stir in the garlic, spinach, carrots,
4) Add the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in the red peppers, olives,
black pepper, and cheese.
4) Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, until the bread is browned and a
skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then
continue cooling on a wire rack.