This is a yummy, amazingly easy make-ahead appetizer that goes quickly. The red, white and green colors make it an obvious choice for a Christmas party.
Goat Cheese, Pesto and Sundried Tomato Torta
1 8 oz. brick of cream cheese
1 4 oz. log of goat cheese
1/2 c. pesto*
1 small jar of sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and finely chopped
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
* You can make your own pesto or use store-bought stuff. This recipe requires a pesto that can hold its shape, so if your pesto is a little runny, add grated parmesan cheese until it will stick to a spoon. Recipe for homemade pesto follows.
In a bowl, blend the goat cheese and cream cheese together.
In another bowl, mix 1/4 c. of the goat-cream cheese mixture with the sundried tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar.
Line a 2 cup ramekin (you can get this at Crate and Barrel for less than $5) with plastic wrap, leaving the ends long enough to fold back over the top. Spray the wrap lightly with cooking spray.
Press 1/2 of the goat cheese mixture into the bottom of the ramekin.
Spread 1/2 c. pesto over the top of the cheese.
Spread the sundried tomato mixture over the top of the pesto.
Spread the remaining goat cheese mixture over the top.
Fold the plastic wrap over the top to cover and chill for at least 1.5 hours.
To plate, unwrap the top, invert onto a plate and peel off the plastic wrap.
Serve with crackers or baguette slices.
4 c. fresh basil leaves
3/4 c. pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic
1 c. freshly grated parmesan
About 1/2 c. olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pulse first 4 ingredients together in a food processor. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until you get the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
This makes enough for the torta above and to sauce pasta for 2-4. This recipe makes a thicker pesto for the torta. If you are using to sauce pasta, reserve some of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce.