I’m a sucker for a cheesecake. Sweet or savory, it doesn’t matter. I love it any way I can get it. When I recently was asked to bring an appetizer to a friend’s house, I immediately thought of cheesecake. It’s elegant, yet super easy.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- 1 5oz jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Place sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well blended into a paste. Slowly pour the oil through the top while processor is running. Set aside while you prepare the cheesecake base.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Cheesecake
- 1 Tble butter, softened
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tble parmesan cheese
- 2 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
In a small bowl mix together the panko bread crumbs and 2 Tble of the parmesan cheese. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, spread the softened butter in the bottom and on the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Sprinkle mixture over buttered pan. Turn to coat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, remaining parmesan, salt and cayenne until light. Add eggs, one at a time. Continue beating until mixed well. Pour half of the batter into a medium bowl. Add reserved sun-dried tomato pesto and stir well.
Spread sun-dried pesto mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Smooth top. Spoon basil pesto on top of sun-dried tomato batter, being careful not to mix the two. Carefully pour the remaining batter on top of the basil pesto. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until set. Cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours prior to serving. When ready to serve, remove sides of the springform pan and serve with crackers.