Savory Italian Cheesecake Recipe
This is a great appetizer or party dish. Don't let the work cheesecake fool you, this is not a sweet dish, but features luscious cheese and olive flavors.
- 2 1/2 cups crushed cheese flavored crackers (such as Cheez-Its)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 8 ounces package Neufchâtel cheese (you may substitute cream cheese)
- 1 cup mild provolone cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup green olives stuffed with pimiento
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Melt the butter and mix with the crushed crackers.
- Press half the cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9" springform pan.
- Place the Neufchâtel and provolone cheese in a food processor. Process until just smooth. (Use the metal blade.)
- Add the olives, green pepper, garlic, celery, Worcestershire sauce, salt, almond extract, and red pepper. Process until the vegetables are finely chopped. (The vegetables do not need to be uniform in size.)
- Pour the cheese mixture over the cracker crumb base and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the other half of the cracker crumbs over the top of the cheesecake.
- Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
- Open the spring form pan and place the base on a plate or cake stand.
Note: The flavors are best after sitting for 24 hours. This makes this a great make-ahead dish for a party or if company is coming by for the weekend. Serve with crackers and fresh vegetables. To make the cheesecake even more attractive garnish with green olives and almonds. My friends who are on diets enjoy this dish. It also makes meatless party dish.
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