Savory Mini Cheesecake with Ricotta and Mortadella, are the perfect party pleaser appetizer, with its rustic but elegant feel and delightful and rich ingredients making it a real crowd-pleaser for your next backyard gathering!
Song of the day: "Magnolia" by Negrita.
Savory Mini Cheesecake with Ricotta and Mortadella is a lovely marriage of saltine cracker and butter base, creamy ricotta blended with chive layer, topped with these incredibly fragrant and flavorful mortadella quenelles, olive oil, and crushed pistachio. Spoon after spoon of amazing taste and texture sensations!
Spring has definitely sprung in our part of the world, actually, it has been exceptionally hot for this time of year. Sunny skies and smells of flowers blooming and gardens being planted has me feeling the joys of the season. The one thing I love about this time of year is outdoor gatherings. Hosts of friends and family basking in the beautiful day enjoying wonderful drinks and delicious beautiful appetizers, among great conversations, sharing, and gratitude. In this day and age, with technology being what it is, emailing, texting, what's up, messenger, I feel like something is fading away, that being socialization. I mean, a real face to face organic socialization with the full gamut of the senses.
What better way than to have a backyard gathering and inviting a bunch of people to have fun, talk, share stories, over some refreshing drinks and a variety of hot and cold appetizers enlightening the senses? My son Joel came to us the other night and was talking about a business owner who sells art. He told us that she has a gathering every month and calls it The Art of Conversation. I responded by saying that is a fantastic idea and was quite happy that he was invited to attend. I guess I am not the only one who feels this passion for socialization in a tech-savvy world.
Let's get back to our Savory Mini Cheesecake with Ricotta and Mortadella!
When I saw these on an Italian magazine Nicoletta brought back, I immediately felt the need to create them. I loved the look, actually, anything in a jar like that is always so appealing to me. I like that you can see all the layers and that it is easy to hold and eat. Well, these are definitely all of that.
The list goes something like this:
- Saltine crackers
- Organic salted butter
- Ricotta (we used the Saluti brand)
- Evo oil
- A nice thick piece of mortadella
- Some green onion
- A handful of salted pistachios, crushed
We have everything we need and a few more things as you cannot go to The Italian Centre Shop and only get ingredients for one recipe. There is by far too much temptation with all the delicious and tasty products.
Now we can finally get started to create Savory Mini Cheesecake with Ricotta and Mortadella.
This recipe is so easy to prepare other than the quenelle making which takes a bit of time, but once you get the hang of it, easy breezy! So, first, we have to get this base done so we can put it into the bottom of the jars. How to do that you ask?
- Well, melt some butter and in a food processor pulse the saltine crackers until it comes to a nice pebble consistency.
- Slowly add the melted butter and pulse a few more times and that's it. You will see the mixture a bit moist and crumbly. You don't want it to be too moist. We still want to keep that texture and flavor of the cracker.
- Place a few teaspoons into the jars and a little pressing and these can go into the fridge for a bit to set.
While the crust is setting, I am going to make up the ricotta layer. This one is super easy, I finely chop some green onion and put it in a bowl that I have the ricotta in. A little splash of olive oil and a quick brisk whip to get it creamy and well blended and this layer is done. Out of the fridge comes the jars with the cracker crumb base and in goes our ricotta mixture forming a beautiful layer on top of the crust.
Now we need to get out artists out and get to making these quenelles. Again, our trusted friend the food processor comes in handy as we pulse the thick chunks of mortadella with just a touch of olive oil so we form a paté type texture. Now comes the fun.You need two teaspoons.
- With one spoon, scoop a nice heap of the mortadella pate, and then with the other spoon use a little pressure to form it in between the two into an oval.
- Then slowly turn it and scooping it from spoon to the other spoon allowing it to form into a smooth yet firm quenelle.
- Place that on top of the ricotta in the jars. You will need two quenelles per jar so keep those spoons going.
- To finish off this amazing appetizer, a little sprinkle of crushed pistachio, some freshly cracked black pepper and a slight drizzle of the e.v.o. oil and that my friends is it.
Once you are done, cover the jars with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Now it is time to serve. Take the jars out about a half-hour before serving, this will allow some of the chill to dissipate and get those flavors to brighten and soften.
Lastly, let's get these out to our guests and watch as they scoop up all those lovely layers and go into their mouths. I love this part, their eyes closed as they want to feel, experience every layer, and the only word that escapes their lips is mmmmmmmmmmmmm.............
All in all, the flavors are incredible. The wonderful buttery, nutty, salty crust mingling with that fresh creamy ricotta infused with those lovely minced morsels of the green onion. The mortadella comes in with its rich spice notes and black pepper. The pistachio adding a nice textural change on our tongues. The olive oil is gracefully bringing that earthy grassy note and its richness to the mix.
What a day enjoying this amazing appetizer in the wonderful freshness of a sunny spring day. It just makes you experience how wonderful nature really is and what it has to offer us in so many ways.
So you may be planning a backyard gathering and wondering what appetizers or dishes you want to make. Well, here is our Savory Mini Cheesecake with Ricotta and Mortadella that not only looks beautiful but is so delicious and luxurious that will surely have your guests quite pleased!
- 75 g Saltine crackers
- 40 g Organic butter
- 200 g Creamy Ricotta
- 20 g Minced green onion
- 120 g Mortadella
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 30 g Crushed Pistachios
- Freshly Cracked Pepper
- Place crackers in a food processor and pulse until a fine crumble consistency is achieved.
- Slowly pour in butter and pulse again until crackers mixture is moistened and can be formed.
- In a bowl mix in ricotta cheese and a splash of olive oil, the minced green onion. Continue whipping the mixture with a small fork or whisk until it becomes smooth and creamy. Taste for salt and season if needed.
- Take 6 clean and dried 2-inch diameter by 3-inch high jars and place 1 ½ teaspoons of the cracker/butter mixture. Press mixture into the bottom of the jars and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Place in 2 ½ teaspoons of the ricotta mixture and even out over cracker crust layer.
- In a food processor pulse mortadella and a splash of olive oil until it becomes a pate in texture.
- Using two teaspoons, scoop a nice teaspoon full using the other teaspoon to press and form it into an oval. Transfer oval from spoon to spoon until oval is firm and smooth and place quenelle on top of ricotta layer. Lay two of these quenelles into each jar.
- Sprinkle with crushed pistachio, a drizzle of olive oil, and a dusting of freshly cracked black pepper. Place plastic wrap over jars and refrigerate.
- Take jars out of fridge ½ hour before serving.
You may have some leftover mortadella or ricotta mixture. You could make more jars or be creative and make something else.
If you are vegetarian you can use a substitute for the mortadella. For example a lentil quenelle, chickpea quenelle, mushroom, etc.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: no bake
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: mortadella, ricotta, pistachio, appetizer, green oinon,
[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.