Cheesecake and blintzes are probably the two most popular dishes that are served on the Shavuot table, but being me, I like to find at least one new dish to put on my table. One of the first recipes that caught my eye in Joan Nathan‘s new cookbook, Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, was a quick bread that had goat cheese, dried apricot and mint. The combination of the creamy goat cheese and apricots really appealed to me, and it was a simple recipe that could be made without much effort. I used sour apricots because I think that they give a stronger apricot flavor than the Mediterranean ones. This quick bread is delicious and is perfect for a elegant brunch, afternoon tea, or served as an appetizer, sliced thinly and cut in quarters, for a dairy dinner.
From Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France by Joan Nathan
1/3 cup olive oil
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4oz fresh goat cheese
1 cup chopped dried apricots (prefer sour or California apricots)
2 tablespoons roughly minced mint leaves or 2 teaspoons of dried mint
Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line it with baking paper.
Add the eggs to a large bowl, and beat well. Add the milk and oil and whisk until smooth.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl, and then add to the egg mixture. Stir until it is incorporated and the dough is smooth. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle the Gruyère, Cheddar, or Comté, crumble the goat cheese on top, and then scatter the apricots and the mint. Pull a knife gently through the batter to blend the ingredients slightly.
Bake for 40 minutes. Cool briefly, and remove the bread from the pan, peeling off the baking paper. Slice and serve warm. You can also make it in advance and freeze it.