A couple of months ago, I found myself browsing the book section of a department store one day when I picked up 'I Quit Sugar' by Sarah Wilson. While I am not one in favour of giving up sugar in all its forms, I am definitely in favour of consuming good things in moderation. For me, it's all about less and best. I am a conscientious eater, but when it comes to special occasions, I believe we should all be able to have a little cake. And if you know that that cake was made from scratch with love and the very best ingredients, then all the more reason to enjoy it guilt-free!
So why would I get the book then? While I love making cakes, coming up with new flavours, and so on.. I do have to be careful. If I were to eat cake all the time not only would I be the size of a house, but I wouldn't feel too crash hot either. 'I Quit Sugar' offers lots of useful advice about how we can cut back on sugar in everyday eating, plus it has loads of great healthy recipes. There are lots of high-protein recipes too, which as we all know goes a long way in keeping us full longer and keeps us from raiding the cookie jar at 3pm. And as a vegetarian, I'm always thinking about my protein intake!
In the book this dish is called a zucchini cheesecake, but I prefer to call it a 'slice' as in my mind a anything ending in 'cake' ought to be sweet. Hrmmm... but then again, I suppose banana bread really ought to be banana cake, because there's nothing savoury or bread like about it, is there?! This slice is listed in the breakfast section of the book. When we have this at breakfast I love it with some thyme roasted tomatoes and wilted spinach. I have enjoyed this at lunch and dinner too. It's great alongside a salad with a zingy lemony dressing. Ricotta is a good source of calcium and protein, so not only is this yum, but it's good for you too!
After making this a few times myself, I suggest you to opt for a good quality full fat ricotta from a proper deli rather than a supermarket. It really does make the difference for this recipe. For those of you in Brisbane, try New Farm Deli, Ingredients Deli in Kenmore, or Fruity Capers Deli in Toowong Village. All three are purveyors of quality cheeses.
Recipe from 'I Quit Sugar' by Sarah Wilson. Serves 8
coconut oil, butter or ghee for greasing
2-3 large zucchini
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1/3 cup grated parmesan*
2 green shallots (or 'green salad onions' as they are called in supermarkets here in Australia), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped dill
zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup crumbled fetta**
* Original recipe calls for a whopping 3/4 cup of parmesan, but I found this much too salty.
** I think Dodoni or Bulgarian work well
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius and grease a 23cm cake tin or medium sized baking dish.
2. Grate the zucchini - you need 2 cups grated zucchini. Combine the zucchini and salt in a colander or sturdy sieve and let sit for 15 minutes, then use your fingers or a spoon to press out as much moisture as you can.
3. Combine the ricotta, parmesan, shallots, garlic, dill and lemon zest, then stir in the eggs and zucchini.
4. Pour into the dish and bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle with the fetta then return to the oven for 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted. The slice is est when left to cool completely so that it sets properly. Serve at room temperature.
If you end up making this I hope you enjoy it! I look forward to bringing you some more of my favourite recipes from this wonderful book. Kudos, Sarah Wilson!