Recipe: Mollie Katzen’s Savoury Vegetable Cheesecake

I know, when we think of cheesecake we think of a decadent, glorious dessert. A rich, sweet cheese mixture settled into a dense, crumbly crust. Why don’t we think of a savoury cheesecake?

This cheesecake will get you to think of cheesecake in a new light. A savoury cheesecake made of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, filled with zucchini, carrots, and onions. Surprisingly light and terribly delicious.

You could really put any combination of vegetables in this cheesecake, provided you sweat them of a lot of their moisture. I served this with a panzanella salad – a perfect pairing.

Mollie Katzen’s Savoury Vegetable Cheesecake

3 Cups (packed) Coarsely Grated Zucchini (3 or 4 small zukes)
A little salt
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup Minced Onion
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup Grated Carrot
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Dried Basil (I opted for 3-4 leaves of fresh basil from the garden)
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano (I also used fresh)
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme (Fresh here too)
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Minced Fresh Parsley
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Cups (1 1/2 pounds) Ricotta
1 Cup (packed) Grated Mozzarella
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
3 Lg Eggs, beaten
Black pepper to taste
2 Tomatoes, sliced into rounds, then in half to make “D’s”
3 to 4 Tbsp Bread Crumbs

Place the grated zucchini in a colander over a sink. Salt lightly and let stand 15 minutes. Squeeze out all excess moisture.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F. Use a little of the olive oil to oil the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. (A pastry brush is the best tool for this.)

Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sautŽ over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, and the carrot, flour, and dried herbs. Cook, stirring, over low heat for about 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in garlic, parsley, and lemon juice.

Place the cheeses and eggs in a large bowl, and beat vigorously for a minute or two. Add the vegetable mixture, and mix well. Season to taste with black pepper, and adjust salt, if necessary.

Transfer to the prepared pan, and arrange the tomato slices on top in a lovely pattern of your own design. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes. Cool for at least 20 minutes before removing the sides of that pan. Serve at any temperature. This is delicious for any meal, including breakfast!

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