Let Them Eat: Pistachio-Olive Oil Cake

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[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

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Every morning I start the day with a mug of inky coffee. It's all the fuel I need to keep me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed throughout the day. But lately, as the afternoon settles in, I've been needing a second cup. It's a suitable prescription for the energy lull, but isn't a little something sweet an even better antidote? I love quick breads; they were among the first baked goods I started making as a kid. Today, I continue to make them. I like how quickly and simply they come together and how lovely they are for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

This recipe is an adaptation of Marcella Hazan's olive oil cake from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. It originated in the Trattoria Dalla Rosa in San Giorgio, Italy, a family heirloom that has been in the Dalla Rosa family for generations. The cake leans toward the savory side, flavored with rich and spicy olive oil and dry Marsala wine. The list of ingredients is brief but bountiful in flavor. I've added finely chopped pistachios and orange zest to this already wonderful cake for a personal touch.