Melt-in-the-Mouth Savoury Cheesecake
I love this cheesecake so so much. I’ve served it multiple times for brunch but it’s also fab as a simple vegetarian weeknight meal. I like it best when still warm from the oven but am totally happy having cold leftovers for lunch the next day. If it’s not zucchini season where you are, see the ‘variations’ for alternative topping ideas. And if you’re short of time you can easily roast the zucchini at the same time you cook the cheesecake and then serve it on top.
enough for 4 as a light meal
takes: 60 minutes
3 small zucchini (500g / 1lb)
small bunch mint, leaves picked
250g (9oz) cream cheese (Philadelphia), softened
200g (7oz) feta
1 bag salad leaves
1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Slice zucchini into rounds and pop in a roasting tray. Drizzle with a little oil but don’t add salt because you’ll be getting lots from the feta.
2. Roast for 20 minutes or until zucchini has softened and started to brown. Remove from the oven and toss in the mint.
3. Meanwhile, place cream cheese, feta and eggs in a food processor and whizz until well combined. There will still be a few tiny lumps from the feta. Grease a 20cm (8in) oven proof frying pan or spring form pan. Spoon the cheesey mixture into the pan and smooth the surface with a spoon. Press the cooked zucchini into the top.
4. Bake cheesecake for 15 minutes. Rotate / twist the pan about 180 degrees to ensure even cooking and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until browned around the edges and puffed up a little. Serve warm with salad leaves on the side.
short on time – bake zucchini at the same time as the cheesecake and serve on top. Or skip the zucchini and just serve with a side salad for greenery. Or try a big dollop of pesto just before serving. Or cook this Baked Frittata instead.
different veg – roast eggplant is really good, grilled red peppers, roast mushrooms, roast diced root veg like sweet potato, wilted greens.
carnivore – top with salami or prosciutto as well as or instead of the zucchini.
no food processor – just mash the cheeses and eggs together with a fork and go for a more chunky, rustic style.
different cheese – replace feta with goats cheese or ricotta.
more substantial – serve with a side of bacon and/or hot buttered toast. For a more middle eastern vibe serve with warm pita bread.
more substantial (low carb) – drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
paleo (grain, legume & dairy-free) – make this Baked Frittata instead.
Shelf Life / Storage
I like it best when still warm from the oven. Leftovers can be kept for 2 weeks or more in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for months in the freezer.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
zucchini – will keep for 2 weeks or longer in a plastic bag in the fridge. To keep it even longer, cook sliced zucchini in a little butter until just soft then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
mint – best to use for another meal. leaves can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted so not ideal. Alternatively make a mint oil by packing washed and dried leaves in a clean dry glass jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil use mint oil to serve with lamb, chicken or fish.
cream cheese (Philadelphia) – will keep in the fridge for weeks.
feta – keeps for months unopened in its packet. Or can be frozen. Or you could make a marinated feta by putting it in a super clean jar from the dishwasher and covering with oil and then keeping it in the fridge. Sometimes I like to add flavourings like bay leaves, lemon zest and pepper corns or chilli.
eggs – will keep in the fridge for weeks or use for another meal.
salad leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens. At least this way they won’t go slimy.