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Author Notes: Looks like I was a little late for the contest with this recipe, but it is worth submitting anyway - it is SO good!!! I love the contests because they inspire me to make up new recipes based on what I have on hand. Which is how this recipe evolved. Asparagus, arugula and parsley were about the only things in the garden at the moment. I only had half a package of cream cheese, but a lot of Ricotta, which made the cheesecake come out a lot lighter. The topping and crust need to be baked until crispy. the contrast with the smooth texture of the cake really works. —Nancy Nicole
Serves 8 as a main course, 12 as an appetizer.
- 2 cups coarsley ground almonds
- 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup melted, salted butter
- 2 cups chopped asparagus
- 1/2 cup arugula, stems removed and chopped
- 2 Tblsp. butter
- a few shakes sea salt
- 4 oz. softened cream cheese
- 2 cups Ricotta cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup unbleached flour
- 1'4 cup finely chopped Italian flat-leafed parsley
- Combine first 3 ingredients well. Press 1 and 1/2 cups of this mixture onto the bottom of a lightly buttered 10 inch spring form pan. Reserve the rest of it for the topping.
- Bake crust at 275 F for 15 minutes, or until golden and firm. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare filling: First Saute asparagus and arugula in the butter over medium heat for 10 minutes or just until asparagus is tender, salting it lightly after about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, puree cream cheese, ricotta, and eggs until smooth. Add flour and puree again until very smooth. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Pulse until combined.
- Pour cheese mixture into a large mixing bowl. fold in parsley, and asparagus mixture. Pour onto cooled crust.
- Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes, or until top is almost set.
- Reduce heat to 375 F. Sprinkle the rest of the almond-swiss topping onto the cheesecake and bake for another 35-40 minutes, or until cake is set and topping is crispy and golden.
- Let cool. Run a knife around the edge and remove side of pan. Serve at room temperature.
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