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Herb & Roasted Pepper Cheesecake

Roasted red peppers and fresh herbs basil, chive and thyme add notes of sweetness, licorice and a hint of peppery finish in ways that will surprise you. Add a drizzle of oil just before serving, and pass the pita chips. —Laura Julian, Amanda, Ohio
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    24 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups roasted sweet red peppers, drained and finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Roasted sweet red pepper strips and additional minced chives, optional
  • Baked pita chips

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
  • Place cream cheese, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Add eggs; pulse just until combined. Add red peppers, herbs, bacon and garlic; cover and pulse just until blended. Pour filling into prepared pan. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of boiling water to larger pan.
  • Bake 35-45 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 10 minutes; loosen edges from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove rim from pan. Just before serving, drizzle cheesecake with oil; top with red pepper strips and chives if desired. Serve with pita chips.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice (calculated without toppings and chips): 134 calories, 12g fat (7g saturated fat), 61mg cholesterol, 333mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.

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