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Roasted Garlic & Pesto Cheesecake

Eileen Goltz | Dairy

Ingredients

For Crust:

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs or cracker crumbs

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese

2 tablespoons melted butter



For Filling:

16 ounces cream cheese

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

7 to 8 cloves of garlic, roasted and mashed

3 large eggs

1/2 cup prepared pesto



For Topping:

1/2 to 1 Tomato, thinly sliced

1/4 to 1/3 cup Pine Nuts

Fresh Basil for Garnish





Instructions

Preheat oven to 325. Combine the crust ingredients and tamp into the bottom of a buttered and parchment lined 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 2-5 minutes to set the crust. Watch carefully you want just a hint of color change. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the first six filling ingredients and beat until lightened. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one. Set aside 1/2 of mixture. In the other 1/2 mix in the pesto and pour into pan. Top with plain cheese mixture. Adorn the top with tomato and pine nuts. Bake for 35-45 minutes until middle is only slightly wiggly. Shut oven off and crack the oven door. Let cool to room temperature. Cover well with saran wrap and chill at least three hours before serving. Plate and garnish with fresh basil. Serves 12 to 14

*To roast garlic, peel off as much of the outer paper as possible and slice the top off to reveal the cloves. Place on aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Close and bake at 325 for 20-40 minutes. Once cool enough to touch, squeeze the cloves out onto a cutting board. Sprinkle with another pinch of salt and mash well into paste