Sun-Dried Tomato-Pesto Cheese Torte
My recipe for our anniversary potluck came from a Publix supermarket recipe card. I was searching for a fun, colorful appetizer for my grandmother’s homemade pesto. (When grandma’s pesto is in short supply, the jar variety in the pasta/sauce aisle works just as well — and a little goes a long way.) The beauty of this appetizer is that you can put the contents into a loaf pan, shallow baking dish or a round bowl to sculpt the three layers into your desired shape as it chills. Serve on a dish with slices of toasted French baguette and you have a tangy, creamy, Italian-themed spread suitable for any occasion.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Refrigerator Time: 2 hours or Overnight
3 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons sweet cream butter, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes with herbs
¼ cup basil pesto sauce
1 loaf of fresh French bread
Line loaf pan (or other straight-sided pan) with a double payer of plastic wrap.
In a food processor or mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, garlic and lemon juice until thoroughly blended.
Remove 1/3 cheese mixture (about one cup) from bowl; set aside. Remove additional 1/3 mixture from bowl; set aside.
Beat sun-dried tomatoes with remaining cheese in processor bowl. (If not using a processor, finely chop tomatoes first.)
Spread tomato mixture in an even layer over bottom of loaf pan, spread one reserved portion of plain cheese mixture evenly over tomato layer.
Return remaining reserved cheese to processor bowl, beat in pesto sauce. Spread pesto mixture evenly over cheese in loaf pan; cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Refrigerate two hours or overnight for cheese to set.
To serve: remove top layer of plastic wrap. Place serving plate over pan; flip cheese onto plate; carefully peel off plastic wrap. With a knife blade, smooth top and sides of cheese. Sprinkle top with chopped parsley, if desired. Spread over toast or crackers. Enjoy!