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Appetizers, Mains, Vegetarian

Tarragon-scented goat cheese cheesecake

Tarragon-scented goat cheese cheesecake
Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

There's a lot more to the Passover holiday than just the Seder dinner. For most Israelis, preparations for the Festival of Freedom started at least a month ago. Passover celebrates the ancient Israelites' liberation from slavery in Egypt. Beginning at ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours | Makes 15 first-course servings or 10 main-course servings
  • 2 cups matzo meal
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) melted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 21 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 15 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves only, coarsely chopped or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Generous grind of freshly ground pepper

Step 1In a bowl, blend the matzo meal, melted butter and walnuts together with a wooden spoon. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Chill while preparing the filling.

Step 2Heat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor or using an electric mixer, blend the goat and cream cheeses together. Mix in the eggs, followed by the sour cream, salt, tarragon and pepper, beating well.

Step 3Pour the mixture into the chilled crust and place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until the center is set, 50 to 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the cake remain in the oven for 30 minutes. If serving warm: Cool down to just warm, carefully remove the outer ring, slice with a knife dipped in ice water and serve, or cover with plastic wrap and chill till firm.

Note: Delicious as a main course at a vegetarian Seder or, served chilled, for a quick lunch or dinner during Passover week. Suitable for Ashkenazim and Sephardim. To avoid last-minute heartache if serving the quiche warm, do not attempt to remove the bottom circle of the pan from the quiche, unless it has been previously lined with a circle of parchment paper. The bottom can be more easily removed as the quiche chills.


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