Eileen Mintz’s Sun-Dried Tomato
and Basil Cheesecake Appetizer
“This is a real showstopper on any buffet table, and after
it has been decorated with basil and sun-dried tomatoes,
it looks glorious!” We agree with this dedicated Costco
member from Mercer Island, Washington.
Carlene Canton’s Pesto Pizza
This Seattle member says that her pizza recipe is quick
and flexible enough to be used as an hors d’oeuvre, side
dish or main dish.
Dough for one homemade pizza crust or
1 tube prepared pizza dough
3-4 tablespoons pesto
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
16-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and cho pped
1 pound mushrooms, chopped
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Pizza seasoning, or mixture of Italian spices
11/2 cups dark pumpernickel bread crumbs
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
3 8-ounce packages reduced-fat cream cheese
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 32-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
5 large eggs
16 ounces low-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons pesto
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
2. In a food processor, blend the bread, 1/2 cup softened
butter and 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese. Spray
cooking oil in the bottom of a nonstick 91/2-inch springform pan. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of
the pan. Press crumb mixture into pan, going up 1/4 inch
on sides. Refrigerate.
1. Roll out pizza dough on pizza stone or cookie sheet.
2. Spread pesto over uncooked dough. Sprinkle chopped
artichokes and mushrooms over pesto. Top with grated
cheese and pizza seasoning or Italian spices.
3. Bake according to pizza dough directions, about 15-20
minutes, until crust is browned and cheese has melted.
Makes 12 servings.
1 cup diced cooked chicken can be added as a topping.
5. Bake 50-60 minutes on second-to-lowest rack of oven,
placing a foil sheet underneath to catch drippings. When
set in center, turn off oven and let the cheesecake sit 20
more minutes. Cool and refrigerate for a day.
6. Remove sides of pan and place cheesecake on a serving
platter. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and pieces of sun-dried tomato. Enjoy with crackers or rustic breads.
3. Beat the cream cheese until smooth in a sturdy electric
mixer. Add chopped onion, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese,
1/4 cup melted and cooled butter, 1 tablespoon oil and
herbs from the tomato jar, and the basil. Add eggs, 7
tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes and sour cream,
blending until smooth.
4. Pour a third of the filling into the refrigerated crust. Add
a layer of about 15 coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes,
followed by another third of the filling. Add a thin layer
of pesto (don’t go too close to the edge with this) and
remaining third of filling.
Makes 30-plus servings.