Savory Basil Cheesecake Appetizer
  • Servings: 4
  • 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup basil leaves, packed
2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise

  • 1 pound ricotta cheese

  • 1 ounce blue cheese

  • 1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and finely chopped; optional

  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, optional
2 tablespoons fresh chives, optional
  1. Combine crumbs and butter in a bowl. Press into bottom of a lightly greased 8 or 9-inch springform pan. Chill. Combine basil, garlic and mayonnaise in food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside. Beat together 3 cheeses in a mixing bowl until well blended. Beat in reserved basil mixture. Spread mixture over crust, pressing and smoothing top. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, remove sides of pan and place cake on a platter. Press chopped toasted almonds onto sides of cheesecake, if desired. To garnish top of cheesecake, make `flower' with slivered almonds and chive stems, if desired. Serve with assorted crackers, vegetable slices and toasts.

Tip: Mascarpone cheese may be substituted for the ricotta for a smoother, milder flavor. For more cheese flavor, substitute half the Parmesan with Asiago cheese.