Recipe from Lauren Sanders - Executive Chef of The Landing Restaurant. Lauren traded in the hustle and bustle of the DC food scene last year for the more relaxed pace found here at the lake, and a post under Head Chef Bruno Silva. She's sharing a fabulous (yet, simple!) appetizer recipe with us below that can be modified to suit any craving or preference.
Savory Cheesecake Dip
For the Base:
1 cup full fat cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cup crumbled feta
½ tsp black pepper
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 375 F
Mix all ingredients together in a food processor, with a handheld mixer, or very thoroughly by hand.
Pour into a lightly buttered baking dish around 8” in diameter. Cast iron or glass is best, especially for presentation.
Top with vegetables and/or herbs of your choice*, and lightly press them into the cheesecake. If the vegetables have a high water content, you may want to roast them off before adding. This will be served as a dip, so you will want to cut your toppings small enough to be scooped up easily.
Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve hot with crusted bread, crackers, or more veggies!
*Here are a few possible flavor combinations from Chef Lauren - and she invites you to be adventurous and give your own a try, too!
Tomato and basil: drizzle with balsamic once it's out of oven
Fresh baby asparagus: finish with lemon zest out of oven
Caramelized onions, bacon, chives
Or just leave it plain in the oven: finished with toasted almonds and honey