Mention the word “spinach”, and most people wince and make a face which suggests disgust and repulsion.
What is it about “green” vegetables that send most people over the edge? I do believe the majority of people’s negative response to these vegetables and others lies in their experience of tasting badly prepared, overcooked, unseasoned, watery vegetables. I would also gag while running a mile. Vegetables if prepared well and used in baked dishes correctly as well as paired suitably with other types of food can be a mind altering experience. To give you a small example, I’m using the infamous little gem which most people hate which is Brussel Sprouts. These delightful looking veggies which resemble miniature cabbage are very bland and honestly quite aweful on their own, however, sauté them in butter with garlic and crispy bacon pieces and the entire dynamics of boring Brussel Sprouts become absolutely delicious and full of flavour. You understand the point I’m trying to make? Similarly, spinach is exactly that, boring on its own, but pair it with garlic, butter and feta and you’ve got an amazing tasting vegetable dish.
When I first saw this recipe, I was hesitant because of the word “cheesecake”. To me a cheesecake is a sweet dish and positively NOT for vegetables. However, after reading the entire recipe I got a clearer understanding that it was a savoury cheesecake and not a sweet cheesecake. How could I be so ignorant!
I am so glad I tried this recipe, which I got out of the 4th Edition of the YOU Let’s Cook. Please try it and let me know what you think. I personally will be making this dish regularly, not only because it’s easy, but it’s a great “light lunch” to serve over the weekend with salads.
For the crust you will need:
70ml butter, melted
1 packet of Bacon Kips (savoury biscuits) crushed
For the filling you will need:
2 bunches of spinach, cleaned, shredded and steamed (I bought already prepared shredded spinach from Woolworths)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250g cream cheese
250g sour cream
4 large eggs
1 round of plain feta cheese, crumbled
Cooks tip: You can add crispy bacon pieces if you wish for extra flavour
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius and grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with spray and cook. Mix the butter and biscuit crumbs and press into the base and partway up the sides. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
Drain the steamed spinach and squeeze out the excess liquid. Fry the bacon (optional), onion until soft and fragrant. Set aside. In another dish, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs together. Add to the bacon and onion mixture, spinach and feta cheese and combine well. Turn the mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until firm and golden brown.
Makes 1 large spinach cheesecake. Serve warm or cold.