Cheesecake for dinner

I thought that might get your attention.

No. We didn’t have the type of cheesecake you were thinking of. Here, let me explain. About three weeks ago, my wonderful Casey – who has put up with my meat-lean cooking for the last five (!!) years – said, “I think we should eat more vegetarian.” It baffled me really. Because I’ll be honest, we eat meatless at least 2-3 times a week. Last week, we had meatless 6/7 nights.  I can run with that request. But I’ll be honest and say that we’ll probably continue what we’ve doing in the past: smaller portion of meat pair with larger portion of veggies and grain/starch.

However, if your spouse recently requested to go vegetarian, or even to try for meatless Monday, I suggest the below recipe. I found it over at 101 cookbooks and couldn’t resist making it. What a great way to use up all that zucchini that is always in my fridge.

Zucchini and Ricotta Cheesecake, from 101 Cookbooks

  • 2 cups grated zucchini – I used two large zucchini grated with a box grater
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups ricotta – I used fresh made from my local market
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 chopped spinach and parsley
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1/3 cup of crumbed goat cheese

Heat the over to 325F, with racks in the middle. I used a 9 inch spring form pan, sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.

After grating the zucchini, combine and toss with the sea salt and let sit in a strainer for ten minutes. Afterwards, squeeze out as much moisture as you can.

Combine ricotta, Parmesan, shallots, garlic, spinach, parsley, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs and mix until well combined. Carefully stir in the zucchini. Fill the springform pan and bake for about 60 minutes. Sprinkle with goat cheese and return to the oven for 20-30, until the goat cheese is melted. I had problems getting the goat cheese to turn that lovely golden color, so I put my cheesecake under the broiler for about 2 to 5 minutes. My stove is temperamental, so watch yours your broiled might be more powerful than mine.

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