Marilyn's Savory Herbed Cheesecake


Mix Parmesan, bread crumbs, rosemary and butter in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of 9-inch spring-form pan. Place in refrigerator to chill.


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the unpeeled cloves of garlic in a small ramekin or ovenproof dish and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft when tested with the tip of a knife. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Squeeze roasted garlic out of the skins and mash or chop the garlic, along with the olive oil to a purée. Combine the garlic, cream cheese, crème fraiche, eggs, flour and salt in a food processor and purée for 2 minutes. Add parsley, chervil, basil, oregano, and sage and process for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the red bell pepper and carrot and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Blend a spoonful of egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Pour the cheesecake batter into the chilled crust. To catch drips, line a baking pan with aluminum foil and place under spring-form Pan. Using additional herbs and vegetables, float a design on top of the batter.

Place the cheesecake in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. When done, the cake will have risen and the center will be almost set. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to remain in the oven for 1 hour longer, without opening the door. Don't worry if the cake is cracked. Remove the cheesecake and set it on a rack to cool for 1½ hours.

When cool, remove the outer ring of the spring-form pan. Loosen the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan, using a knife, and slide it onto a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.

To keep overnight, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving. If desired, decorate the top of the cheesecake using herbs and or vegetables. Serves 12.