Rhubarb Soup with Nicoise Olive Cookies
This was our amuse bouche for our opening night at Jack. I’m a bit obsessed with nicoise olives at the moment, because I absolutely hated all olives until I discovered these at the Park Avenue Bistro not too long ago. So now I’m using them to add depth to stews, intricacy to cookies, and inspiration all around.
I love alternating sips of chilled, tart rhubarb soup with bites of crumbly, salty olive cookies. I know it sounds odd, but they really were quite lovely together! Brave the olive cookies; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Also, my apologies for the radio silence lately. It’s been spring on and off, and I just want to go out and wander the streets and parks whenever the sun comes out. I treasure every evening spent having dinner outdoors in a tank top, every smell of earth and green growing wonder, and even the comforting smell of rain first hitting the pavement. I spent last Sunday night in Prospect Park at a marching band scavenger hunt and capture the flag game. Not to mention the lawyering that takes up time, too. Life is grand, every moment of it.
Speaking of which, if any of you locals like playing board games (such as Scrabble or Go), stop by the Brooklyn Lyceum and say hi on Monday night. I’ll be there.
Chop the rhubarb into cubes. Simmer everything together until the rhubarb is soft and fallen apart. Pass through a tamis. Serve chilled.
Nicoise Olive Cookies
(adapted from The Traveler’s Lunchbox)
9 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 C (heaping) pitted and coarsely chopped nicoise olives
Maldon salt to taste
Cream butter until soft. Mix in sugar. Mix in olive oil. Mix in salt and flour, gently but thoroughly. Mix in olives.
Press about 1/4″ thick on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Score with a butter knife into squares. Poke holes with a fork. Sprinkle a bit of Maldon salt on top.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Cut apart while still warm.
Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.