Savory Basil Cheesecake Appetizer

Course : Cheesecakes
Serves: 50
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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 -- (optional) toasted and finely chopped
3 tablespoons slivered almonds -- (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh chives -- (optional)

Preparation / Directions:

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 chees


Nutritional Information:

2611 Calories (kcal); 212g Total Fat; (71% calories from fat); 128g Protein; 60g Carbohydrate; 482mg Cholesterol; 3625mg Sodium

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