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Pesto Swirled Cheesecake

 Pesto Swirled Cheesecake
“My savory cheesecake was so popular at Thanksgiving, it was gone before my husband got a bite. He joined the appetizer line faster when I made it for Christmas and Super Bowl Sunday.” —Elizabeth Jackson, Portland, Oregon
24 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min. + chilling

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons finely chopped pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 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:
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Assorted crackers

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, pine nuts and butter.
  • Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. 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.

2 of 2

Pesto Swirled Cheesecake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • 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 350° for 35-40 minutes or
  • until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour
  • longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Serve with crackers. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 24 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 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.
Wine: Light-Bodied White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.