Thursday, January 19, 2012

Savory Cheesecake

This was a part of our recent Memphis Flyer story on switching up sweet and savory dishes. We did not have room for the recipe, but I have had some folks ask me for it so here goes:
1/2 cup loose-packed, fresh, flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic
1 cup of bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup  sliced shallots (2 large)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
3 large eggs

6 ounces soft goat cheese
15 oz whole milk ricotta
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mixed olives 
balsamic vinegar (10 year old)
fresh flat-leaf parsley
Turn the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse the parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs, and olive oil in a food processor until they become a course crumb. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a standard spring form pan that has been brushed with olive oil. Place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, and then remove. 

In a 10-inch skillet, sauté shallot in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until they just start to brown. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, and reduce until most of the liquid has disappeared. Place rosemary, shallots, eggs, goat cheese, ricotta, black pepper, and salt into the food processor and pulse until everything is incorporated. Spoon filling into the spring form pan being careful not to disturb the crust. Bake for 50 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for at leat two hours, remove the collar of the pan, and serve garnished with parsley, balsamic, and olives. This can be a main dish served with a salad or bring it to a party as a funky app. 


  1. Another winner. The flavor was really good and it was fairly simple to make. I was hesitant about having this as a main dish at first because I thought the cheese would be overwhelming, but the olives and herbs complemented the cheese really nicely. I served this with the warm Brussels sprouts salad and felt that the different cheeses were well matched rather than an overload. I even considered having a leftover piece this morning since it resembled a quiche.

    My main problem was with the crust. The recipe says "1/2 cups of breadcrumbs." I was not sure whether it called for more than 1/2 a cup, or if the "s" was there by mistake. First, I used 1/2 a cup, but I felt like the ratio of breadcrumbs to parsley was not right. I ended up adding another 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs. The consistency seemed right when I put it in the pan. However, in retrospect, I probably should have used less. My crust ended up being really crumbly. Also, should I have turned my oven down after I cooked the crust? I cooked the cheesecake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. The top was a nice golden brown, but the sides and crust were pretty badly burnt. The cheesecake itself turned out a little bit dry. Is this a problem with the temperature or the cooking time? We ended up scraping off most of the crust. A friend suggested either using a pastry/pie crust or even not having a crust. The cheesecake itself was good enough without it.

    Rosemary is listed in the ingredients, but it was not included in the directions. I assumed that it went into the food processor with the rest of the filling, and the results were good. Maybe add that into the directions?

    Also, I did not have a 10-year-old balsamic and couldn't find it at Kroger, so I just used what I had. The drizzle was thin, but the flavor was still good.

    I'm a huge fan of cheesecake, but had never thought about doing a savory version. I can't wait to experiment with different herbs and toppings with this one.

  2. I can see where I went wrong. This is why we test. The oven temp was too high and that is why you ended up with a dry, slightly charred cheesecake. I'm sorry for that. I'm happy to hear that the flavor was good. So I've made some adjustments that I think will do the trick.

    Does someone else want to give this one a try with the revised recipe?

  3. I did end up eating a piece of this cheesecake with a little hot sauce for breakfast a few days later. Yum!