Tarama and Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Mint-Flavored Olive Oil
Here's another unusual use for Greek yogurt--a savory cheesecake made with the ultimate Greek meze, tarama. I created this several years ago, when I was insane enough to open and run a summer restaurant, Villa Thanassi, basically in my backyard on the laid-back, Blue-Zone island of Ikaria. This dish became a signature. I still make it, especially for company. Use authentic Greek olive oil for this recipe, which you can find on my online store here.
For mint olive oil
- 250 ml 1 cup Extra-virgin Greek olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves julienne
For yogurt cheesecake
- 2 cups plain coarse breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 6 egg whites
- 1 lb. cream cheese
- 1/3 cup tarama *
- 1 tsp. lemon zest finely grated
- 3 cups Greek yogurt
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan, just enough to warm it. Steep the mint inside. Pour into a squeeze bottle with a wide nozzle and let sit for at least 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 375F (180C).
3. Mix the breadcrumbs and melted butter together to dampen. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan.
4. Using an electric mixer, blend the egg whites, cream cheese, tarama, and lemon zest until smooth. Fold in the yogurt. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set. The filling should appear soft yet firm. Remove and leave to cool at room temperature for one hour. Cut into wedges and plate. Drizzle the mint oil in thin streams onto the plate, and garnish with a little lemon and pepper.