Savoury Cheesecake SaladPublished on August 30, 2020

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Cheesecake is often considered a dessert item, but savoury ones are just as delightful and make the perfect garnish for a green salad. To prepare these cheesecakes, use a regular-sized muffin tin or look for 2-inch (5 cm) mini-cheesecake pans with removable bottoms. They can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for two days, or in the freezer for up to a month.

INGREDIENTS

  • â…“ cup (90 mL) cornflake crumbs, panko or dry gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 5 tsp (25 mL) butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp (1.25 mL) each salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup (55 g) softened cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) sour cream
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • ¼ tsp (1.25 mL) each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh basil
  • Fresh basil leaves or microgreens to garnish

SALAD

  • 4  cups mixed greens, washed and dried
  • 2  tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼  tsp (1.25 mL) each salt and pepper
  • 1  tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
  • ¼  cup (60 mL) olive oil

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 300ºF. Brush the insides of four muffin pans (or use paper liners) or five 2-inch cheesecake pans with canola oil and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix cornflake crumbs with melted butter, salt and pepper. Firmly press a tablespoon (15 mL) of mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup or mini cheesecake pan. Bake in centre of preheated oven for 8 minutes; remove pan from oven (leave oven on).
  • In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese for 2 minutes with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until smooth (about 1 minute). Beat in the sour cream; add the flour, salt and pepper and beat again. Gently stir in sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.
  • Divide cheesecake batter evenly between the pans, spooning gently over the base (a small cookie scoop is ideal for this job).
  • Bake 14–16 minutes, until filling is set (jiggle pan to test). Place pan on wire rack and let cool to room temperature; refrigerate until cold. If not serving the same day, place in an airtight container.
  • Just before serving, put prepared salad greens in a large bowl. Combine lemon juice, Dijon, salt and pepper in a small jar with a tight lid. Shake vigorously; add olive oil and shake again. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Drizzle dressing over greens and toss gently; divide greens among 4 small serving plates.
  • Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of each cheesecake to loosen it from the pan and gently lift out. Place one cheesecake on top of each salad and garnish with a fresh basil leaf or several microgreens before serving.

Makes 4 salads; recipe can easily be multiplied.


Paula Roy

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