Vegetarian Eggplant Cheesecake – Test Drive

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Vegetarians rejoice! This recipe is courtesy of Yotam Ottolenghi.

Roasted eggplant, ripe plum tomatoes*, and fresh oregano enveloped in a feta and cream cheese custard. Finishing touch… a drizzle of exotic za’atar spice infused oil and served with arugula salad.

This will be the appetizer course for a dinner party this coming Saturday.

* Note – during winter months when tomatoes aren’t in season you can opt for a high quality hothouse cherry tomato or some oil preserved sun dried tomatoes.

EggplantCheesecake

Za’atar

While you can used pre-packaged dried thyme here, I prefer to dry my own fresh thyme in the oven just before making this blend. The thyme retains a nice green color, the flavor is bright and fresh, and there is none of the mustiness you sometimes get with herbs or spices that are past their prime. It’s one of those little details that make enough of a difference to be worth it.

4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stems (or 2 Tbsp dried)
2 teaspoons ground sumac*
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

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