Do you ever just all-of-a-sudden remember a recipe? I must have bookmarked this at least a year ago, and I made it once and promptly lost the bookmark. Luckily, I email things to myself! This past weekend I accidentally bought MORE cilantro instead of parsley (oops) and I was looking for a way to use some.
In case you wanted to know what yogurt and olive oil look like on top of a bowl of frothy eggs, now you know. I subbed yogurt for milk because I don't keep milk around, but I'm thinking perhaps I should have used buttermilk instead (oddly, I have that around more often than regular milk).
The way I remember this the first time I made it was lighter and more crumbly; I think it was the yogurt that made this incarnation denser. Freaking delicious, but denser than I remember. The original recipe is here, from Dorie Greenspan: it's a french cake salé, and she uses cheddar and chives.
The incarnation I bookmarked many moons ago was this one, with cilantro, cheddar and goat cheese. I had originally planned to use dill Havarti, but... let's just say it was past it's prime. I ended up using the not-very-French combination of 2.5 oz provolone, .5 oz Parmesan, and 2 oz cream cheese (my kitchen scale has a tare function and I l-o-v-e it). It would be an interesting addition to the Easter Brunch table, n'est-ce pas? Next to the lemony tarts and danishes and all those sweet things?
Savory Cilantro and Cheese Cake
keeps about 2 days at room temp, well wrapped, and makes excellent toast and croutons when it starts to dry out.
1 cup AP flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 to 1 tsp salt, depending on your cheeses. I used 3/4 tsp because Parmesan is pretty salty.
several grinds fresh black pepper
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup milk or yogurt
1/3 cup olive oil
3 oz cheddar or other medium hard cheese, coarsely grated
2 oz goat cheese or cream cheese, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or other herbs, or a combination)
optional: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Put the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl and whisk the ingredients together to combine. Put the eggs in another mixing bowl; whisk for about 1 minute, until they’re foamy and blended. Whisk in the milk and olive oil.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and, using a spatula or a wooden spoon, gently mix until the dough comes together. When there is still a little bit of dry ingredient showing, stir in the cheese, grated and cubed, the herbs and the toasted walnuts, if you’re using them, so that everything is moistened. Don't take it too far; like all quickbreads you want to be gentle with this one, lest it get tough on you. You’ll have a thick dough. Turn the dough into a buttered loaf pan and even the top with the back of the spatula or spoon.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the bread is golden and a slender knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack for a few minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pan and turn the loaf over onto the rack; invert and cool to room temperature right-side up.