Pesto Swirled Cheesecake

This savory cheesecake is the perfect appetizer for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Super Bowl.

Yield

24 servings

Crust Ingredients

2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
5 tablespoons finely chopped pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling Ingredients

1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Pesto Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
assorted crackers

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, pine nuts and butter. Press onto the bottom of the prepared springform pan; set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the ricotta cheese, cream, Parmesan cheese, flour, salt and garlic salt until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.

For topping, combine the basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Drop by teaspoonfuls over filling; cut through with a knife to swirl. Place pan on a baking sheet.

Bake at for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with crackers.

Storage

Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutritional Information

1 slice (calculated without crackers) equals 87 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 144 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 4 g protein.

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