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I have been seeing a lot of savory cheesecakes out in the blogosphere and they always look so nice. Every time I see one, I always said to myself that I will make one soon! Until I see another one a few weeks later and I kick myself under the table because I haven’t made one yet. Well the other day I was going through my cookbook collection and I came across one of my old favorites:
The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen of Moosewood fame.

I just love her rustic, yet, experimental way of cooking. Her recipes are just perfect for the New England climate that I spent most of my adult life in. So different from Florida. But as I was thumbing through the pages, reminiscing, and trying to mentally bookmark some ideas for the 2 weeks of cold weather we get here in the Sunshine State, I came across a recipe for Savory Vegetable Cheesecake!!!!!

My mom was coming into town for a visit that weekend, so I thought, it would be a nice, delicious, and “beautiful to look at” meal. Which is why it is my contribution for Dhanggit’s Event: Perfect Party Dishes!

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She is hosting a special birthday party for her daughter who is turning one this year! :) She needs help with coming up with great dishes for the part. This is my contribution because it is elegant and it was actually so good that we ate the leftovers for lunch the next day – cold. Which was also an awesome way to enjoy this dish! I am sure that you can change some of the vegetables and cheeses around to suit your own tastes, as we did from the original recipe.

Happy Birthday Baby Dhanggit! :)

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INGREDIENTS:

3 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 3 small zucchini)
a little salt
a little olive oil for the pan
1 TBS olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup grated carrot
2 TBS. unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
5 medium cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
3 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 packed cup grated smoked Gouda cheese (her recipe calls for mozzarella)
1/2 cup grated parm
3 beaten eggs
black pepper to taste
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half (her recipe calls for sliced romas)
3-4 TBS bread crumbs


METHOD:

Place zucchini in a colander over a sink. Salt lightly and let stand for 15 minutes, then squeeze out the excess moisture.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F, lightly oil the bottom of a deep round cake pan – a springform will be better. (If you are not using a springform, I suggest that you line the cake pan with parchment paper with enough extra paper sticking out that you can use the paper as a sling to transfer the cake to a serving plate once it is baked).
Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large deep skillet. Add onion and 1/2 tsp salt and sautee over medium heat or about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, carrot, flour and dried herbs. Cook, stirring over medium heat for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the 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 to the bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Arrange the tomatoes halves in a nice pattern on top and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes before removing the cake. Serve at any temperature.
Serves 6