There’s a chill in the air - a promising, elusively familiar chill that somehow promises more warmth than the sunshine itself. My red-lacquered toes clad in premature sandals turn purple, a light sweater would be better replaced by a legitimate jacket, but still we go on, wearing our linen dresses and flip-flops, because that morning chill is full of promise. The promise of what we know is coming.
The warmth of Spring is all but in reach and that lingering chill is not so bitter as it once was.
Life is a lot about giving up one wonderful choice, for what we hope will be a slightly more wonderful choice. Sometimes it’s voluntary. Sometimes we are forced into it and we have to take a few deep breaths to realize that everything we dreamed of may no longer be the best course of action. Sometimes it’s a bitter exchange, but one that we know is necessary.
During these Spring months, we bravely endure the cold toes and purple feet because we know that in several hours the Sun will peek her head through the budding trees and our fashion choices will once again seem reasonable. Just as with life, April is full of cold toes that turn into beautiful days.
This cheesecake has nothing to do with hard choices, but it has a lot to do with Spring. It’s radiant with the bright, fresh-from-the-garden flavors I so adore this time of year.
Though it is called a cheesecake, this is not a dish you would likely enjoy slicing and eating on its own. This "cake" is more of a spread, best enjoyed with your favorite crackers.
Shall we take a moment to appreciate how adorable this 4-inch springform is? It’s been in my cabinet forever and I finally found the perfect use.
Appetizers are one of my favorite things. Eating before I actually eat has never lost its childlike appeal for me.
This cheesecake makes a lovely pre-meal snack and is a welcome revision of the ubiquitous cheeseball.
While I absolutely, positively hate doing this… I’m going to make you do the whole water bath thing. I know it’s annoying, and I’m sorry, BUT, you will not enjoy this cheesecake half so much if you skip this step. Believe me, I tested it both ways.
Fortunately, a bit of sturdy tin foil will keep us from suffering too much heartache, and the seamlessly smooth texture is completely worth that extra effort.
This creamy, gentle onion and slightly acidic melody is everything. We are basically eating the farmer’s market on a cracker.
Life will keep giving us hard choices, but in the kitchen we are not called to compromise.
Spring is calling, purple toes and all. Let’s live it.
Savory Lemon & Chive Cheesecake
serves 4-6 / recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon pecorino romano
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 egg yolk
- olive oil, for greasing
- 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in the work bowl of your food processor and pulse until smooth.
Grease a 4-inch springform pan with olive oil and pour in the cheesecake mixture. Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with a sturdy piece of aluminum foil.
Place the pan in the center of a pie plate and fill the plate with warm water, until it comes half-way up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center of the cake still moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken. Turn off the oven and keep the oven door ajar. Allow the cake to cool for one hour, then remove from the water bath. Remove the aluminum foil and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until cool.
When the cake has cooled, run a butter knife along the edges to loosen the cake and then remove from the springform pan. The edges will be soft and somewhat sticky. Gently press the finely chopped pistachios against the sides of the cake to form a rough crust. This cake is best when served cool, but not cold, so set it out 15-20 minutes before you plan on serving it. Enjoy!