Pesto Torte

>> Friday, April 2, 2010

I came across this awesome appetizer at my sous-chef's family holiday party. His cousin's boyfriend brought this dish and I gained 13 pounds scarfing it down. I forced him at knife point to give me the recipe and reluctantly, he finally did. His looked better than mine but I think he's had more practice and though this recipe is pretty cool to look at, the real payoff is how good it tastes. It's addictive. Don't say I didn't warn you.
This recipe is perfect for Christmas, it's all red and green and white and green and white. I know it's Easter now and Christmas was forever ago but again, it tastes good no matter when or where you serve it.

You get two for the price of one with this post: the torte recipe AND my pesto recipe. The spinach in my pesto keeps the pesto fresh and green, adds iron and makes the taste a little milder and less bitter. I make big batches and freeze my leftovers to eat later on gluten free pasta or chicken.


Cheese Mix:
- 8 oz neufchatel
- 8 oz mascarpone

Soften and combine using an electric mixer.
- 2-3 cups basil
- 2-3 cups spinach
- 1/2 - 1 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup whole garlic cloves
- 1 cup parmigiano reggiano, cut into small chunks
- 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
Blend in food processor, start with small amounts of everything then adjust to your personal taste.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto: (I used packaged for this one but here is a recipe for making your own)
- 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup  fresh basil leaves
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp lemon zest

(Blend in food processor until completely incorporated)

Line a bowl with plastic wrap and secure with a rubberband and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Using a spatula, carefully spread a layer of the cheese mixture on the bottom of the bowl. I tried to make my layers about 3/4" thick.
Next carefully smooth on a layer of the sun-dried tomato pesto.
Add another layer of cheese mixture then smooth a layer of basil pesto over that.
Continue alternating red, white, green, white, red, white until the bowl is full or you run out of one of your dips. Then wrap the remaining plastic wrap around the top layer and place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. To serve, invert the bowl on a platter or plate and remove the plastic wrap. Voila: a colorful and utterly delicious torte! Serve with gluten free crackers or (I know it sounds weird but it's really good) tortilla chips.


Anonymous,  May 17, 2010 at 8:49:00 PM PDT  


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