Savory Goat Cheesecake with Tapenade

Savory Goat Cheesecake with Tapenade
Everyone loves cheesecake and this recipe is a delicious twist. This savory cheesecake is a creamy blend of goat and cream cheese with a handful of fresh herbs. To add zing, I top it with tapenade. Goat cheesecake makes a striking centerpiece for your hors d' oeuvres table.
Makes 1- 7-inch cheesecake

2/3 cup fine, bread crumbs, lightly toasted
1/3 cup walnuts, ground
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Butter for the cheesecake pan

8 ounces fresh goat cheese (Laura Chenel)
8 ounces cream or farmers cheese
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup fresh herbs, (chives, tarragon or parsley or any combination)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Black olive tapenade (see recipe)
French bread or crackers for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap the bottom of the pan in foil to prevent water seepage. Butter the cheesecake pan. Mix breadcrumbs, walnuts, thyme, salt, and melted butter. Place in the bottom of the cheesecake pan, pressing crumb mixture along the bottom of prepared pan.
2. Combine goat cheese, cream cheese, parmesan, egg, yolk, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper in the mixer; mix well. Pour on top of the crust, filling to the top. Tap gently on the counter to make sure the contents are well packed in.
3. Bake in a hot water bath about 45-50 minutes; the top of the cheesecake should be dry to the touch but still soft in the center. Cool for 30 minutes, on a rack. Run a knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan before unmolding on to a serving platter. Top the cheesecake with a 4-inch circle of tapenade and serve with bread or crackers.

Black Olive Tapenade
Tapenade should be a staple in your kitchen if it is not already. It is a Provinçal condiment that is great on crostini or served on top of goat cheese with cabernet sauvignon. It’s very versatile; you can add more olive oil to the tapenade to dress a salad.
Makes ½ cup

½ cup Niçoise olives
½ cup dry aged olives
1 clove, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Zest of half a lemon
1 tablespoon capers, rinse, and pat dry
2 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Cognac
About 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Remove the pits from the olives by placing the olive on a cutting board and pressing down on it with the side of your knife. Push the pit out and discard, repeat with the rest of the olives.
2. In a food processor, combine the olives, thyme, capers, garlic, lemon zest, and anchovies, pulse until you have a crumbly paste. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the lemon juice, Cognac and oil to taste.

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Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie