Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

I saw this recipe in one of my favorite blogs 101 Cookbooks. I never really follow recipes to the T except for baking recipes. This recipe is interesting and I changed some of the flavors that I thought would complement the zucchini better. The fresh flavors of thyme, lemon zest, zucchini and different cheeses make this a refreshing summer meal in the middle of winter.

Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake
Created recipe on 02/10/2010

2 cups of unpeeled and grated zucchini – use a box grater you want coarsely grated zucchini – once you grate the zucchini, you will need to squeeze out the water from the zucchini with your hands. I did this 2 or 3 times so the zucchini was pretty dry and flakey.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2-1/2 cups of 2% skim milk ricotta cheese
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium onion, sliced in half moon shapes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced fine
3 tablespoons fresh Thyme or ¼ cup of fresh dill
Zest of one large lemon
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup goat cheese crumbled

The zucchini needs to be dry and free of as much water as possible. When I grated the zucchini, I squeezed the grated zucchini with my hands 2 or 3 times to make sure the water is removed from the vegetable. Put the squeezed zucchini in a colander or strainer and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt and mix. Put a plate or a heavy item on the zucchini so more water is drained. This process will take about 10 minutes.

In a sauté pan, on medium high heat, add the olive oil and the onions. Cook until the onions become deep tan. This will take about ten minutes to caramelize.

In a large bowl, add the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, caramelized onions, garlic, thyme, lemon zest – well.  Add the eggs, mix well and add the dried and squeezed zucchini. Mix well. Put the mixture in an olive oil greased stone or a buttered springform pan. I do not own a springform pan, so I used one of my deep dish baking stones. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 60 minutes, until the cheese mixture is set. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese on top and cook for another 20 minutes. Then zap the cheese in the broiler for an additional 5 minutes or so until the cheese is golden brown.

Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake_1

I served this with steamed broccoli and the results were amazing. I would still consider this a healthy meal since I used low-fat dairy products. I think that adding roasted tomatoes, baby spinach and fresh parsley would really beef up the flavor. That will be my next try.

Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake_2

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

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