Savory Summer Cheesecake

By allrecipes - John Mitzewich

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups diced bell peppers
  • ½ cup diced yellow onions
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, or to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

For the Herb Cracker Crust:

  • 4 ¼ ounces plain crackers, finely crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 9-inch springform pan well.

  2. Start the filling: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Sauté peppers and onions with a large pinch of salt until onions just start to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

  3. While the pepper mixture is cooling, prepare the crust: Combine crushed cracker crumbs, dried Italian herbs, and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Stir until crumbs are coated.

  4. Transfer the buttered crumbs into the prepared springform pan and press down into an even layer. Set aside until needed.

  5. Continue the filling: Combine eggs, flour, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the crème fraiche, cream cheese, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and mix until smooth. Stir in parsley, tarragon, thyme, and cooled pepper mixture until evenly combined.

  6. Transfer cheese mixture into the prepared springform pan. Tap the pan gently to settle the contents and place on a baking sheet.

  7. Bake in the lower center of the preheated oven until a skewer poked into the center comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and carefully remove the ring.

  8. Cheesecake should be thoroughly chilled in the refrigerator before serving, about 2 hours. Cheesecake can be served at room temperature, but it will not have the classic smooth, firm cheesecake texture, and will be more like a very light cheese quiche.

Chef’s Notes:

You can use hot peppers instead of sweet, or a combination of both.  You can use sour cream instead of crème fraiche. Use 1/2 cup any chopped fresh herbs you like in the filling.

Feel free to add any other savory ingredients into this, like cooked crumbled sausage or crisp bacon.


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