Artichoke and Green Olive Savory Cheesecake
If I owned a restaurant, I would, without a doubt, make this into one of my signature dishes. That, and some of my pizza creations, of course.
Notice that I did say IF. I do not own a restaurant, nor do I plan on owning one. Ever. I prefer to cook for my friends, family and myself, at my own pace, create whatever my heart feels like that day, and then share my creations with you guys.
But, you know what they say… never say never. 😉
One of the things I really appreciate about this dish, other than the fact that it is crazy good and suprisingly low cal, is that you can prepare it in advance and take it pretty much anywhere you like, because it’s highly portable. You can just leave it in the pan until you are ready to serve.
However, you have to actually remember to make it ahead of time. Don’t do like I did… You see, I was supposed to eat this one night last week when my daughter was home. I had her make the dough for me during the day, while I was out gardening. After all, she is the dough specialist, remember?
So anyway, I come in at around 4:30pm, thinking I have to get working on that cheesecake if we want to eat it that night… and that’s when I find out I don’t have enough cottage cheese. Darn!
So I run to the nearest convenience store (well, I actually took my car, it’s a bit faster that way) to get some cheese while she starts working on the onion. Most expensive cottage cheese I ever bought, let me tell you! But hey, at least, I could continue working on that cheesecake and eat it that night, as planned.
I get back home, get the whole thing done and put it in the oven. It’s now a little past 5pm, good, we’re still on schedule. In an hour, this thing will be ready, then I can take pictures and…
Then my daughter’s voice interrupts my toughts:
– But Mom, how long does it take for that cheesecake to completely cool down?
I had totally forgotten about that tiny little detail. This needs to chill for HOURS, preferably the whole night!
We ate something else that night. I had pumpkin and chestnut pasta and she fixed herself a plate of smoked salmon with a quick side of salad.
I was leaving for 2 days after that, so the cake got plenty of time to chill. Trust me, it was hard to wait all that time before I could finally taste it!
But in the end, I think this version was even better than the first one!
See, even my girl looked like she was hoping get a little taste. *Move camera a little to the right… then down… little lower… THERE* Look at those eyes. Don’t they look full of hope to you?
Unfortunately, nothing ever made it to the floor, not even a tiny little crumb. Poor thing… look how sad!
Oh, almost forgot… Since I was all alone eating that cheesecake after all, I am currently testing freezability. I will bring what’s left to my parents’ place this week-end.
I sure hope it passes the test with flying colors! What a shame it would be if it didn’t!
- ¾ cup spelt flour
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp zaatar
- 1½ can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and cut in 8 pieces
- ½ cup canned sliced green olives, rinsed and drained
- 1 can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
- 40g sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 250g low fat cream cheese
- 500g 1% fat cottage cheese
- the zest and juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 whole eggs
- ¼ cup egg whites (equivalent to 2 egg whites)
- 100g Feta cheese, crumbled
- Whisk flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a measuring cup, whisk oil, buttermilk and egg; pour over flour.
- Stir to form fairly smooth dough.
- On floured surface, knead until smooth, 2 minutes.
- Press into disc; wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- On floured surface, roll out dough to form a 12-13 inch disc. Fit into 9 inch spring form pan, letting excess hang over edge. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375F
- In a skillet coated with cooking spray, cook onion, and seasoning over medium heat, until fragrant and onion becomes translcent, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, blend cream cheese and cottage cheese together until smooth. Scrape the sides once or twice during process to make sure all cheese is well incorporated.
- Add lemon juice and lemon zest, Dijon mustard and give a quick stir.
- Add eggs, one at a time, blending until smooth between each addition. Add the egg whites and take the mixture for a final spin.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add crumbled feta, artichokes, olives, water chestnuts and sundried tomatoes. Fold delicately until well combined.
- Transfer this mixture into the reserved crust. Immediately put in the oven and lower temperature to 325F.
- Cook for 55-60 minutes, until cake is set.
- Allow cake to cool completely in the refrigerator before unmolding.
- Garnish with sliced olives and artichoke hearts cut in half right before serving.