It probably comes as no surprise that my favourite genre of literature is “foodie lit”. There is nothing more satisfying than reading a super talented author who entices with eloquent descriptions of dishes and entertains with stories around the food. Some stellar authors whose books grace my bookshelves are, Ruth Reichl, Anthony Bourdain, Erica Bauermeister, Richard C. Morais and Elizabeth Bard. What a bonus to recreate the food from the recipes included in these books. One of my recent favourites is “Picnic in Provence” by Elizabeth Bard, her sequel to “Lunch in Paris”. I have been cooking from both of these delicious books recently, and am excited to present one of the recipes here today.
When Bard described these savoury cookies that one of her friends served at a picnic in the French countryside, I just knew that I had to make them. I have often felt the need to change up humdrum crackers and bread that I serve when guests arrive at my home. This recipe is it! The cookies provide a scrumptious, salty, slightly crumbly base for a selection of cheeses or tapenades. A glass of fresh, fruity Chablis would be excellent in contrast to the saltiness of these sablés. These cookies are going to become a staple for all of our picnics this summer.
Olive,Rosemary and Parmesan Sablés
10 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
12 cured black olives, pitted and finely minced
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, rosemary, Parmesan and some good grindings of black pepper.
Add the olives and the butter, cut into 3 or 4 chunks. Knead the butter into the flour with your hands until the ingredients are evenly distributed, and a ball of dough has formed. Do not over work the dough.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board to the thickness of ¼ inch. Using a 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter, cut into rounds. Bake until fragrant and highly coloured, about 17 or 18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Makes about 16 cookies.