Everyone loves Cheesecake! But instead of a sweet dessert, try my savory Mediterranean Cheesecake for a delectable meal.
I first made this savory dish for a book group meeting and it was a big hit. This cheesecake is extra savory with ten cloves of garlic and tons of fresh herbs (dried herbs work too). Did I mention the tangy feta cheese? It all makes for a perfect combination and one very rich cheesecake. So just eat a small slice and enjoy the deliciously creamy texture which is so satisfying. You can change up the ingredients as well, matching the seasons as you see fit. For Christmas I love to use sun-dried tomatoes, or in the summer I’ll use sautéed vegetables.
Savory Mediterranean Cheesecake
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup toasted Panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
10 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil
3 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream or 8 ounces of creme fraiche
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chervil
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 egg whites, at room temperature
Sliced olives for decoration
1. Mix cheese, bread crumbs, rosemary and butter in a small bowl.
2. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a spring form pan. Chill.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the unpeeled garlic gloves in a small ovenproof dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for ten to fifteen minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
2. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins and mash with oil to a puree. Combine garlic, cream cheese, sour cream, feta cheese, eggs and flour with an electric mixer, beating for about two minutes. Add herbs and beat for one minute (if you don’t have fresh herbs, use one tablespoon of Herbs de Provence). Stir in chopped olives.
3. In a clean bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture. This is now your cheesecake batter.
4. Pour cheesecake batter into the chilled crust. Use additional sliced olives to decorate the top of the cheesecake batter.
5. Place cheesecake in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. When done the cake will have risen and the center will be almost set. Turn the oven off. Let the cheesecake remain in the oven for one hour longer.
6. Remove the cheesecake and set on a rack for an additional 1 1/2 hours. After cooled, remove the outer ring of the spring form pan.
7. Serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove cheesecake from refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.