Savoury Feta and Pomegranate Cheesecake with Pistachio, Mint and Parsley (and a Winner!!)

29 Oct

Having seen Beth Michelle’s beautiful pure white sweet cheesecake bed topped with a generous pile of glistening ruby pomegranate jewels, I knew that I was going to make a cheesecake with the pomegranates that I am now seeing all over the trees here at the moment.

At the restaurant we used to serve a savoury cheesecake with an apricot chutney. It wasn’t baked and I think it was goat’s cheese. Anyway I was thinking of going down a Greek/Middle Eastern road because of the pomegranate, and feta was the obvious cheese choice.

You make the base from crushed oat biscuits (oatcakes, the ones you serve with a cheese plate) and some sort of nut, I thought pistachio followed the Greek theme but almonds or hazelnuts would be lovely too. You add some honey to make it stick together and it also adds some sweetness to contrast with the sour cheese.

Then you mix feta or goat’s cheese with the same amount of cream cheese and a bit of creme fraiche to loosen it slightly. Add in some fresh herbs and spices and spoon the cheese mixture on top of the base and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

You slide it out of the ring just before serving to stop it sagging or collapsing and top it with some beautiful pomegranate jewels.

Feta & Pomegranate Cheesecake with Pistachio, Mint & Parsley

Serves 2, Vegetarian

  • 2 unsweetened oat biscuits (I used Paterson’s Olive Oil Oatcakes)
  • about 25 gr shelled pistachios (45 gr with shells)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 100 gr  Greek feta
  • 100 gr cream cheese (I used Philadelphia light)
  • 2 or 3 tbsp creme fraiche (or queso fresco batido)
  •  a handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 5 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • pinch dried oregano
  • pinch dried mint
  • pinch sumac (optional)
  • pinch ground cumin
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 pomegranate

Blitz the oatcakes and pistachios in a blender until sandy then add the honey and blend again. I used two 3 inch/7cm diameter chef rings which I oiled inside. You could put this in a ramekin too but you may have to serve it in it aswell, I’m not sure if it would come out cleanly.

Put the oiled rings on a sheet of greaseproof on  a flat plate and spoon half the biscuit mix into each ring. Push it down and spread it out evenly.

Blend the feta, cream cheese and 2 tbsp creme fraiche until smooth. Only add the third tbsp if your mix is really stiff, remember that it has to stand up by itself. Add in the herbs and spices and season with a little salt & some black pepper. Blend again and taste for seasoning.

Spoon half of the cheese mix into each ring, pushing it down evenly and smoothing out the top. Put them in the fridge for at least an hour preferably longer so they set.

To remove the pomegranate kernels: cut it in half widthways through its middle. Hold the pomegranate half in your palm, cut side down over a bowl. Using a wooden spoon smack the back of the pomegranate to release the kernels into the bowl. Continue until all the kernels are out and remove any bits of white membrane that may be attached to them.

Just before serving remove the cheesecakes from the fridge and slide the rings onto your serving plates. Lift the ring slowly and carefully and the cheesecake  should slide out of the bottom and onto the plate. (Don’t do this until you are about to serve or they may start to sag or collapse). Top with a tumbling pile of pomegranate jewels, a halved pistachio and a parsley leaf. Serve immediately.

This is a lovely light lunch dish or a very elegant starter/appetizer that looks impressive but is surprisingly simple.

I have to apologise for being late in announcing the winner of the Blissful Bites Cookbook giveaway, but I have a good excuse. Last Sunday morning while I was still in bed we had a thunderstorm directly over head. There was an enormous crack of thunder and bolt of lightning and the electricity went off. When the electricity came back on I went downstairs to switch on the computer but it was completely dead, nothing at all was happening. It has been at the menders since then and I have just got it back today. Thankfully they managed to retrieve all our data. I was so worried about losing all my photos but the are all still there.. phew!

So, a little later than advertised, the winner is…………………………

True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 47 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

The 47th comment was left by Tiffany at Como Water. Congratulations Tiffany!! You are now the proud owner of a copy of the new vegan cookbook Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan. I know you will put it to good use and I hope you enjoy cooking your way through it  as much as I am.

Thanks to everyone that entered and I will be trying out the recipes that you wanted to see most in the next few weeks.

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39 Responses to “Savoury Feta and Pomegranate Cheesecake with Pistachio, Mint and Parsley (and a Winner!!)”

  1. lazyblackcat October 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Your cheesecake looks divine! *sigh*

  2. dassana October 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    the cheesecake looks so good, natalie. and the recipe is so easy.

    i am sharing this recipe with my sis as she is a big fan of cheesecakes…. lovely recipe…

  3. Miranda October 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    WOW!! What a great idea! Looks great!! I have always wanted to make and eat a savory cheesecake – maybe this will be my first!

  4. tiffany October 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    That cheesecake is SERIOUSLY gourmet! All of your food is stunning, but this really sticks out! And I love that it’s savory! And YIKES… I am so glad that your data were recovered! AND…. WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO! I am SO glad I won!!!! Doing the happy dance at my computer! I’ll email you w/my address! Woop whoop!!!

  5. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    This is just stunning!

  6. thekalechronicles October 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    This looks fabulous, Natalie: I’m making it as soon as pomegranates are in. It would make a good dish for parties or potlucks. And for those who like things sweeter, you could just put a bowl of honey on the side and let people drizzle their own.

  7. Suzi October 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    I am truly impressed with this cheesecake. It looks gorgeous. This I am definitely going to give a try. Don’t you just love pomegranates?

  8. Savory Simple October 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    This is stunning! I’m bookmarking this to make! I love savory cheesecake.

  9. chicaandaluza October 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    What a beautiful recipe Natalie. Why have I never thought of making a savoury cheesecake?! Am loving all the pomegranates at the moment…so good. On a different topic, have just made your sweet chilli dipping sauce (finally) and it is amazing…thanks so much for the recipe. Will go and say the same thing now on the post page!

  10. Cucina49 October 29, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    This looks fantastic–love the pomegranate seed garnish on top–would make an impressive starter for a dinner party.

  11. thefooddoctor October 29, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    wow!
    this is amazing!
    I seriously can’t wait to try it

  12. Savorique October 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    The mix of cream cheese and feta / Greek cheese is smart. I’m not a fan of dairy-tasting cream cheese so I welcome very much the feta which offsets the dairy effect.

  13. Kim Bee October 30, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    This looks divine. It’s just so amazingly beautiful. I love the combo of tastes here. And quite frankly anything with pistachios is right up my alley. Great photos and stunning recipe.

  14. Three Well Beings October 30, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    Yum! Love the word pictures accompanying the beautiful photos–”ruby pomegranate jewels”–scrumptious! And congratulations to Tiffany. You’re a lot of fun, Natalie! Debra

  15. Andrew Sloan October 30, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Do you guys want to join us on the Saturday of the olive harvest? Ole & Chris already confirmed for Sat 19th nov, weather permitting.

    • foodblogandthedog October 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

      Allen is on holiday from the restaurant that week and I am not sure what we are doing, will speak to him tonight and let you know, definitely need some more of that gorgeous olive oil though!! x

  16. Tony Ward October 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Tre chic guapa !! This is another one for my hit list, when we finaly have a night at home that is. I think it would be a perfect starter for a Xmas lunch/dinner with…….pink cava !!!
    Great photos and soooooo glad you’re both back in touch with reality( whatever that is !!) Besitos. xx

  17. Medeja October 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    It looks amazing! And with feta it must have tasted interesting..

  18. Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen October 31, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    Now feta cheesecake? Wow… The crust sounds heavenly too….

  19. Celia October 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Love the whole idea of a savory cheesecake – though you totally kept a nice bit of sweet in there. Great flavor combos.

  20. Carolyn October 31, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    This is such a fantastic idea, I love it! They look delicious.

  21. Mandy Vellacott October 31, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    Another stunner and well worth waiting for. Will be moving back to the UK end November and might have to secrete a few Pomegranates in the car so that I can wow the folks back home.

  22. spree October 31, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    What a GORGEOUS recipe! SO pretty to look at, and I’m tasting it! (The savory goat cheese cheesecake with apricot chutney sounds pretty out of this world too.) Thank you!

  23. sarah October 31, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    So glad your photos are safe! This looks ah-mazing and your pictures are so, so gorgeous!!

  24. Xina Lynn November 1, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    Holy smokes. I will have to get my family to try this one for a bit of vicarious living on my part. The recipe, the photos, the whole thing looks divine.

  25. Caroline November 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous, Natalie! Mmm feta and pomegranate. What a lovely combo! x

  26. Kim Bee November 3, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    This made my list for Lunatic Loves this week. Love it!

  27. Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen November 3, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Lovely as usual, Natalie! Just say the word “feta” and you’ve got my attention. Add pomegranates, and oh my!

  28. Hannah Maxwell November 3, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Hi there,
    I just found your wonderful blog. I’m near El Palmar and would love to know your favourite places to eat in Andalucia that are good for vegetarians. I’m also going to be trying out some of your beautiful recipes.
    Thanks,
    Hannah

    • foodblogandthedog November 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

      Okay Hannah here we go: In Vejer, I love the pizzeria Il Forno & Castilleria even though it’s all about the meat, I love the place and they do a lovely roasted veg and cheese & onion tartlets. In Tarifa I always go the Hurricane restaurant because of the location and there’s always something nice for veggies. They also do a great buffet lunch Couscous, salads etc at the beach bar. In Malaga city there is a fab Japanese restaurant called Zen that does amazing sushi and veg tempura, and the lighting is lovely! La Moraga is a modern tapas restaurant chain that do nice bits & pieces and a nice rose cava. Terra Sana is a chain that does tasty healthy food & lots of veggie options. I love the Mumtaz Mahal Indian restaurant in Coin, the Paneer Tikka and Onion Kulcha are to die for. There is a small Italian restaurant behind the main square in Fuengirola called La Pergola, they make they’re own pasta in the restaurant and the pizza bread (base de pizza) is amazing with some of their chilli oil! Hope this is helpful and that you get to try them out sometime!!

  29. Tammy November 4, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    Love the idea of using feta in this. It is so unusual. I think it’s beautiful and would be a great holiday snack or appetizer.

  30. Virginia November 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    Natalie – thank you for this BEAUTIFUL blog. As one of your ‘stealth visitors’ each week i have so enjoyed the recipes & especially the photos (pls tell the washer-upper that!) Can’t wait to try this cheesecake… and Happy 1-Year Blog Birthday month! : )

    Virginia (the person) in Virginia (the State!)
    (that would be across a big ocean from you..)

  31. Beth Michelle November 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Natalie! I just love this!! Your savory cheese cakes are so beautiful! I’m so glad you were inspired by the pomegranate topping of mine that you added it to yours, it really looks amazing and I’m sure tastes wonderful!!!

  32. kellieanderson November 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    I just wanted you to know that after bookmarking this earlier, I am going to be making this scrummy looking recipe this weekend. All of your recipes look scrummy but I especially favour the look and sound of this bejewelled beauty.

  33. foodblogandthedog November 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    I hope it turns out ok and you enjoy it as much as we didi, let me know how it goes!!

  34. tony ward November 12, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Hija……gonna try the savoury cheescake with pomegranate this week sometime, it looks superb and EASY for the ol’ man to knock up !! Besitos. xx

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Orange,Ginger and Cinnamon Vegan French Toast « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - December 21, 2011

    [...] Savoury Feta & Pomegranate Cheesecake, the perfect starter/appetizer [...]

  2. 2011 round up « Chef in disguise - December 31, 2011

    [...] Natalie’s Savoury Feta and Pomegranate Cheesecake with Pistachio, Mint and Parsley [...]

  3. Fesenjan – A Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Stew « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - November 11, 2012

    [...] in your mouth, livens up the whole dish and, of course, they look lovely. I have also topped this Savoury Feta Cheesecake with a generous glistening pile of them for an impressively dramatic but surprisingly easy to [...]

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