We are not able to be with family this Thanksgiving because of the move (it’s finally happening this weekend) but we were graciously invited to be with local friends tomorrow which means I will not miss out on turkey after all (I was worried).
In an effort to be a half decent guest, we are in charge of drinks (suggestions anyone?) and an appetizer. Pinterest and Aunt Shelah inspired, I am making a savory cheesecake that sounds gross, but tastes amazing. It’s also pretty healthy which means that you should not raise your eyebrows at me for eating half of it in one day.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? My not so humble opinion is that stuffing is overrated (isn’t it just wet bread?) and turkey is the bomb.
1 cup low fat cottage cheese (room temperature)
1/3 cup shredded parmesan (room temperature)
1 large egg (room temperature)
2 tbsp pesto (1 tbsp IN the cheesecake, the other swirled on top)
1/4 tsp salt (more/less to taste)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic (about 1/2 a clove)
3 heaping tablespoons of pureed butternut squash
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp butter, melted
1) First preheat oven to 350 degrees. The original directions say to line your springform pan with parchment paper or tin foil and spray with non stick spray. I simply sprayed non-stick spray in a 8×8 pan.
2) Mix the bread crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Dump into the spring form pan and press onto the bottom, and slightly up the sides. Set aside.
3) Puree the cottage cheese in your food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper, egg, and butternut squash. Pulse to gently mix.
4) Pour 1/2 of the cheesecake mixture into the pan, add 1 tbsp of the pesto and swirl. Pour the remaining cheesecake into the pan, then top with the remaining pesto and swirl.
5) Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the edges are slightly golden and is it jiggles a little in the middle when you shake it. Turn off the oven, crack the oven door and leave the cheesecake IN THE OVEN to cool down for an hour.
6) Cool on the counter to room temperature then chill the cheesecake until you’re ready to serve it. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving to allow the flavors to really come together. Run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the pan.
The cheesecake can chill in the fridge for up to 3 days before serving. It can also be frozen and thawed for a later time.
Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature alone or with chips or bread. I prefer it very, very warm and piled atop a fancy cracker.