Food & Drink

December 2, 2013

Holiday Entertaining Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta

I have been making this crowd pleasing Torta recipe for as long as I can remember; actually so far back, that Instagram wasn’t even a thought, and we certainly didn’t take pictures of our food and share it with the world (not that we could, back in the day) I’ve been dying to say that, “back in the day”. I’m not sure who’s day but for the 20 some years I’ve been cooking we didn’t take pictures of our food no matter who’s day it was and there was no world to share it with unless you were a photographer for some magazine or newspaper. So the picture/photo credit for this easy, fabulous, great tasting, party pleasing Torta from Bon Appétit magazine is to Noel Barnhurst, food photographer.
If you’re hosting a holiday gathering within the next few weeks and you’re looking to put a menu together I highly recommend this recipe. This torta has a lot of flavor and best of all it yields ample servings and pairs well with red and white wine equally; the ideal crowd pleaser food.
Photo Credit: Noel Barnhurst, Bon Appétit Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta

Photo Credit: Noel Barnhurst, Bon Appétit Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta

You can make this up to three days ahead; be sure to start at least one day in advance.
 Ingredients:
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 2/3 cups cream cheese, room temperature (about 21 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • Fresh basil sprigs
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Baguette slices, toasted

Directions:

Finely chop garlic in processor. Add basil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, oil and lemon juice. Process until well blended. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Using on/off turns, process just until blended. Transfer pesto to medium bowl.

Coarsely chop tomatoes in processor. Add tomato paste and process until mixture is almost smooth. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese and blend well.

Using electric mixer, beat 2 cups cream cheese and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray 6-cup soufflé dish with nonstick spray. Line with plastic wrap, extending plastic over sides. Spread 3/4 cup cream cheese-butter mixture evenly over bottom of prepared dish. Top with half of tomato mixture, then 1/2 cup cream cheese-butter mixture, then half of pesto mixture. Repeat layering with 1/2 cup cream cheese-butter mixture, remaining tomato mixture, 1/2 cup cream cheese-butter mixture and remaining pesto. Top with remaining cream cheese-butter mixture. Cover and chill overnight. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Invert torta onto platter. Peel off plastic. Garnish with basil sprigs and toasted pine nuts. Serve with baguette slices.







 
 

 
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