There is a whole group of foodies who get together monthly to share their creations…..and they call themselves Foodmakers. What a delightful time tasting all kinds of savory & sweet pie concoctions, as well as homemade olive oil ice cream. (but that will have to be another post !) I just found this group & no, I haven’t been hibernating. I have taken this very purposeful interest in food lately, so what pops up on my screen ?? Foodmakers, of course. I digress !! We had tomato pie, shepherd’s pie, proscuitto egg mini-pies, zucchini/ricotta pie (more on this later), peachy hand pies, key lime pie, freshly picked raspberry pie, 3 berry pie, rhubarb pie…..and the list goes on. Plus, I was with more than 20 foodies…..it was heaven. Except, our temperature has hovered around 100 the last week AND a huge storm the night before knocked out the host’s electric….so no AC. Luckily he had a roof deck with a slight breeze….but it was still HOT !! Did it stop us from eating pie….heck no….not foodies !!
So, I had been cruising on the web looking for a savory pie and there it was…..Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake….and of course, exactly what I had just picked up at Farmers Market. Never having done a savory cheesecake, I decided why not ?? I don’t know any of these people anyway. But, it was excellent and within 10 minutes, my serving tray had nothing left but a wet & torn paper doily which had previously been a part of a lovely presentation. Ok, enough humility….it was really good. I used the recipe from 101 Cookbooks as the base and now I know why people rave about Heidi Swanson. So….here is my interpretation of Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake.
2 cups zucchini, unpeeled, grated & drained
4 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
2 sweet onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh thyme, oregano, basil
zest of one lemon
2 large eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup herbed goat cheese, crumbled
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh thyme, chives, basil
I lightly sprayed a springform pan with olive oil & preheated the over to 325F. My only springform was slightly larger than 7″, which is what the original recipe called for. It didn’t affect the flavor or beauty of the dish however next time I’ll use a smaller pan. After squishing the salted zucchini to get as much water out as possible, I tossed in the hot sauce and let it sit. Interestingly there was not an overwhelming ‘hot’ to the pie, however several mentioned a slight bite at the end, which they really liked. I have a very generous herb garden potted on my deck, so I liberally mixed the herbs, onion and garlic with the cheese(s) before adding the eggs. Since parmesan can be quite salty, do watch how liberally you are with that condiment. After cooking for 1 hour, I added the goat cheese & cherry tomatoes(cut side up) to the top & popped it back in the over for another 20 min. The pie was set (slightly jiggly in the center) so I used the broiler to give it a lovely brown as well as to roast the tomatoes slightly. While it cooled, I sprinkled fresh ground pepper on the tomatoes & sprinkled the last herbs on top, particularly fresh lemon thyme. The original recipe called for dill, which I didn’t have. The hot sauce & roasted tomatoes were also my addition. This is definitely a dish I will make again & it is a recipe which can easily be adapted to other veggies, like asparagus or swiss chard, and the fresh herbs can be whatever you have on hand. Bon Appetit !!