Is it really a cheesecake? A frittata? A quiche? Whatever you call it, it is delicious. I am in love with Yotam Ottolenghi cookbooks. I own all four now, the latest being Plenty More, the following up of his last veggie cookbook, Plenty.It’s really a misnomer to call this recipe a cake, because I almost passed it by thinking it was a dessert. However, my sister was in town and we were going through the cookbook recipe by recipe and we decided to give this one a try. Two medium eggplants were cut into rounds. Brushed those rounds with olive oil and sprinkled some salt and pepper and baked for about 30-40 minutes until browned.Time to organize the rest of the ingredients: feta cheese, cream cheese (I used light), cream or soy milk, eggs, and dried oregano, instead of fresh (I find the dried oregano has a stronger flavour than fresh). A couple wedged tomatoes were dispersed among the eggplant slices in the baking dish. In an oiled baking dish, I arranged the roasted eggplant slices with the wedged tomatoes.Both cheeses, eggs and cream were whipped together.And poured over the eggplant-tomato prepared dish. This dish was baked until the egg mixture set.I mixed some za’atar with some olive oil and this was basted over the finish baked dish. A beautiful vegetarian meal, served with an Ottolenghi-inspired Fig Salad from the same cookbook.Served with a rosé. I recommend Plenty More for all.
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 2 medium eggplants, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch slices
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 ounces feta, crumbled into large chunks
- 5 ounces cream cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup cream (I used Belsoy creamy soy milk)
- 2 medium tomatoes, wedged or 1 cup grape tomatoes, each cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tbsp. dried oregano leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons za’atar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush a 7 1/2-inch square baking pan (or an 8-inch round baking pan) with a little oil.
- Lay the eggplant slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, until the eggplant slices are soft and golden. Set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- Combine the cheeses, eggs, cream and some black pepper in a bowl and beat with a hand-held mixer until smooth and thick. It might take several minutes to eliminate all the lumps from the feta.
- Arrange the eggplant slices in the prepared baking pan, overlapping them if necessary. Add the tomatoes, using them to fill any gaps, and sprinkle with half of the oregano.
- Pour the cream mixture into the pan, sprinkle with the remaining oregano and bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard sets and turns golden.
- Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Mix the za’atar with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, brush this mixture over the top of the ‘cake’, cut into serving pieces and enjoy.