cheesecake

Just banish the thought of cheesecake from your head. This is more like a quiche, in a way, with the cheese-to-egg ratio reversed, and a lighter texture. I found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks, and modified it a bit. For one, I don’t own any 7″ round dishes, much less a 7″ springform pan (isn’t that a weird size? or is it just me?). I just used my trusty 8×8 casserole dish and modified the cooking time and it was fine.

Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks (original recipe here)
Serves 6 – 8

2 cups zucchini, unpeeled & grated plus enough thinly sliced coins to cover the top (about 2 medium zucchinis or summer squash)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. basil, lemon thyme, dill, or other herb(s), chopped
zest of 1/2 lemon (she calls for a whole lemon, but I found it too lemony)
2 large eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup goat cheese, divided
drizzle of olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F degrees, racks the middle. Butter/oil an 8×8 casserole dish (or equivalent size dish)

In a strainer, toss the shredded zucchini with the salt and let sit for ten minutes. Now aggressively squeeze and press out as much moisture as you can. Set aside.

In the meantime, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 c. of the goat cheese, onion, garlic, herbs and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs and continue mixing until well combined. Now stir in the shredded zucchini. Fill the pan with the ricotta mixture, layer the squash coins over the top decoratively, and bake for 45 minutes. Now sprinkle with the goat cheese and return to the oven for another 20 -30 minutes or until the goat cheese is melted and the cake barely jiggles in the center (it will set up more as it cools). Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

I also made a sauce to accompany it, out of two golden bell peppers from the farmer’s market, 1/2 of either an anaheim or new mexican green chile (not sure what it was, but something with medium heat will work), some vegetable stock, cilantro, and salt. I just seeded and chopped the peppers, simmered them in the stock until they were tender (5 – 10 minutes), and then blended them with the cilantro and salt.