Aubergine Cheesecake

January was finally over last week and I had a celebratory gin (or two) as opening a bottle of wine on a Monday night seemed far too dangerous. Probably the reduced boozing has done wonders for my reading challenge (30 books this time) as I would normally fall asleep within 5 minutes of reading after a couple of drinks. At the moment, I’m reading The Silk Roads – covering the lesser known (at least for me) history of the Eastern part of the world. It seems particularly apt as I’m being such a fangirl of the Israeli chef Ottonlenghi this week!

This is the first time I made this aubergine cheesecake from ‘Plenty More’ though it had been on my to-do list for a while. It was worth the wait and is probably one I’ll roll out to impress guests. It’s really delicious cooled down to room temperature straight from the oven, or cold from the fridge.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 60ml olive oil + 1 tbsp
  • 2 aubergines
  • 150g feta
  • 150g cream cheese (I used light Philadelphia)
  • 3 eggs
  • 60ml double cream
  • 150g plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano (or fresh if you have it, I can never find this)
  • 1.5 tsp za’atar
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C

2.) Line a large baking tray

3.) Slice up the aubergine (about 5 slices per aubergine)

4.) Measure out the 60 ml oil and brush onto the aubergine. I turned the pieces round to try and get it all absorbed.

5.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper

6.) Bake for 40 minutes.

7.) In the meantime, start preparing the cheesecake filling.

8.) Measure out 60ml double cream into a container and add the 150g cream cheese and break in the eggs.

9.) Crumble up the 150g feta and stir this in. Grind in a bit of black pepper.

10.) When the aubergine is done, turn the oven down to 170 degrees C.

11.) Line an oven proof baking tray with the aubergines, careful as they’ll be very hot, my tray had about a 15cm radius.

12.) Sprinkle half the oregano onto the aubergine and dot with the plum tomatoes

13.) Pour over the cream cheese filling and top with the remaining oregano.

14.) Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until set (per recipe). In fact, mine took over 50 minutes as I had quite a deep tray.

15.) Once the cheesecake has cooled down, brush with the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle over the za’atar

16.) Leave to cool to room temperature and serve.

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