Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Zucchini Ricotta Savoury Cheesecake

This light and lemony Zucchini and Ricotta Cheesecake is a sensational savoury alternative to the traditional crustless quiche. With a lovely firm creamy texture and fragrant combination of low fat ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, shallots, garlic, dill and lemon zest, this savoury dish is also flattering to the waistline with only 200 calories per serving. Feel free to play around with the ingredients using anything from chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped spinach, corn kernels or assorted fresh herbs or any variety of tangy cheeses. 

Ricotta mixed with parmesan, shallots, garlic, dill, lemon and eggs

Ricotta mixture with grated zucchini added

One of the keys to the success of this dish is to make sure that the zucchini is coarsely shredded and well drained before being added to the herbed ricotta mixture, ensuring that the cheesecake retains its lovely firm texture. Simply pour into a springform pan and bake for about an hour, this rich and satisfying Zucchini and Ricotta Cheesecake is absolutely delicious served either warm or cold — an easy and tasty low fat meal perfect for anytime of the week.

The Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake in a springform pan, ready to be baked

Zucchini Ricotta Savoury Cheesecake
Serves 8

2 cups zucchini, unpeeled and coarsely grated
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
zest of one lemon
3 large eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
drizzle of olive oil

Preheat oven to 325°F degrees, and place the racks the middle. Butter or oil a 7-inch springform pan. In a strainer, toss the shredded zucchini with the salt and let sit for ten minutes. Then thoroughly squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, shallots, garlic, dill and lemon zest. Stir in the eggs and continue mixing until well combined. Stir in the shredded zucchini. Fill the springform pan with the ricotta mixture and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for an hour. If there's any moisture left on top of the cake at this point, carefully use a bit of paper towel to dab it off. Sprinkle with the goat cheese and return to the oven for another 30-40 minutes, or until the goat cheese is melted and the cake is golden brown. 

If the cake is baked and set, but the top isn't quite golden, place it under the broiler for just a minute or two to getmore colour on top. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes, then release the cake from its pan. Serve warm or at room temperature drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a few sprigs of dill. 

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