Regular visitors know that the recipes I share here rarely venture far from the sweet stuff. However, when Annie announced World Vegan Day for the second Virtual Vegan Potluck, I immediately knew that I wanted to do something a little different and debut a savory dish. I decided on individual savory cheesecakes, topped with a pumpkin seed pesto.
I admit that at first I was concerned with how a savory cheesecake would turn out. Was I crossing a line I shouldn’t be? But those fears were quickly alleviated. The pesto paired up beautifully with the rich, creamy filling, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. In fact, the next time I attend a “live” potluck, I’m bringing savory cheesecakes :-)
Don’t miss out on the other fantastic dishes! Use the navigation buttons, at the end of this post, to move yourself up and down the buffet table… And let’s not forget a big thank you to Annie (An Unrefined Vegan), Somer (Vedged Out), and Jason (Jason and the Veganauts) for organizing this event!
Savory Cheesecake Appetizers
1/2 cup Finely Ground Wheat Crackers (I used Wheat Thins)
1/4 cup Ground Pumpkin Seeds
2 tsp Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 325°F and line muffin tins with paper liners. I used a tin that makes medium sized muffins (cups are about 2 inches wide).
Stir together the cracker crumbs and ground pumpkin seeds. Blend in the olive oil.
Using a tablespoon to measure, scoop crust and press into the bottom of liners.
Bake for 5 minutes.
8 ounces Dairy-Free Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
1/4 cup Pureed Soft Tofu
1 tsp Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or All-Purpose)
Combine cream cheese, tofu, and flour in a food processor and blend until smooth. Can also use a mixer for this, but food processors work better, as they don’t aerate the filling.
Scoop filling onto crusts (I started with a tablespoon each, and then divided the remainder evenly amongst them). Spread the filling out to the edges of the crusts and smoothing the tops.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Cool completely, then remove from tins, cover loosely, and refrigerate overnight.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto:
1 cup Coarsely Chopped Basil, lightly packed
2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds, raw
1 clove Garlic, chopped
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp White Miso
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a food processor, pulse the basil, pumpkin seeds, and garlic until minced.
Add oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and miso. Blend until thoroughly combined.
Stir in salt and pepper.
Just before serving, remove cheesecakes from paper liners. Place a dollop of pesto on each cheesecake (I used about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon each), and spread out to look pretty.
Makes approximately 16 cheesecakes.