Cookbook

2010 :chest Savory - Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta :forkids *PIC*

Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta

This layered appetizer is very festive with a green layer, a white layer and a red layer.
We had it at a Christmas Gourmet Club here several years ago and it has become a Holiday favorite for parties and family get-togethers. :photo from Epicurious

Ingredients:

For Pesto Layer:
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups (packed) basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly ground Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup cream cheese, room temperature

For Tomato Layer:
1 1/3 cups drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup cream cheese, room temperature

For Cream Cheese Layer:
2 cups cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
salt and pepper

For Garnish:
fresh basil sprigs
toasted pine nuts
toasted baguette slices

Instructions:

For Pesto Layer:
Finely chop garlic in food processor.
Add basil, pine nuts, oil and lemon juice. Process until well blended.
Add Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.
Using on/off switch, process in food processor until just blended.
Transfer pesto to bowl.

For Tomato Layer:
Coarsely chop tomatoes in processor.
Add tomato paste and process until mixture is almost smooth.
Add cream cheese and blend well.
Transfer to bowl.

For Cream Cheese Layer:
Process cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
Season with salt and pepper.

To Prepare Torta:
Spray 6 cup souffle dish with non-stick spray.
Line with plastic wrap, extending plastic over sides.
Spread 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of prepared dish.
Top with half of the tomato mixture.
Top with 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture.
Top with half of the pesto mixture.
Repeat layers with 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture, remaining tomato mixture, 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture, remaining pesto mixture.
Top with remaining cream cheese mixture.
Cover and chill overnight.
This can be made 3 days ahead.
Keep refrigerated.

For presentation:
Invert torta onto platter.
Peel off plastic.
Smooth outside of torta with a butter knife, if necessary.
Garnish top with basil sprigs and toasted pine nuts.
Serve on serving plate surrounded with toasted baguette slices.

For toasted baguette slices:
Place slices on ungreased cookie sheet under broiler for approximately 4 minutes each side.
After removing them from broiler, brush top side with olive oil or spritz with oil from "Misto" sprayer.


Posted by GourmetGal
December 22,2010

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