Yields 18 servings
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup fine dry unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 8-ox packages cream cheese
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup Cilantro Pesto w/Almonds
- Fresh cilantro or other herbs for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Mix the bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Coat the pan with the crumb mixture.
- With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, remaining Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Transfer half of the mixture to a medium bowl. Mix the pesto into the remaining half. Pour the pesto mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Next, spoon the plain mixture over the pesto mixture and gently smooth the top. Sprinkle with the almonds.
- Bake about 45 minutes or until the center no longer moves when the pan is shaken. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Run a sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cheesecake. Release the pan sides and transfer the cheesecake to a platter. Garnish with fresh cilantro or other herbs. Serve with slices of French bread or crackers. You may even choose to add a dollop of salsa.
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