Eggplant Savory Cheesecake Appetizer
- 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
- 7-8 ounces Greek feta, crumbled into large chunks
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups plum cherry tomatoes cut in half, lengthwise
- 1/2 cup Olea EVOO - divided
- 2 tbsp Olea oregano
- 1 1/2 tbsp za’atar (Middle-Eastern spice blend)
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven at 400oF.
- Line the bottom and sides of a deep baking pan with foil and brush with olive oil.
- Place eggplant slices on a baking sheet that has been fitted with a rack. Brush both sides of the eggplant with plenty of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast eggplant for 40 - 45 minutes till slices are soft and golden. Set aside to cool. Turn down oven temperature to 325oF.
- In a mixing bowl, place feta, cream cheese, eggs, whipping cream and a few cranks of black pepper. Beat mixture until smooth and thick.
- Arrange eggplant slices in the prepared baking pan. Fill the gaps between the pieces with the tomatoes and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of Greek oregano.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture into the pan, leaving exposed some of the eggplant and tomato pieces. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp of Greek oregano.
- Pour the cheese mixture into the pan, leaving exposed some of the eggplant and tomato pieces. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp of Greek oregano. Bake for about 40 minutes until mixture is set and turns golden. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
- Lift foil and remove cake out of the pan. Mix the za’atar with a teaspoon of olive oil and brush the top of the cake. Cut cake into small squares and serve.