Thursday, September 6, 2012

Goat Cheese Pesto Torte

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So, this is a keeper recipe.

Every time I have made this spread I get asked for the recipe at least a handful of times, and you will too.  It's very easy to throw together quickly, and it's a make-ahead dish, so you can impress your friends and still have time to paint your nails (or whatever guys do, such as watch an old episode of Mr. Bean.  Which is totally not at all what The Hubby is doing right now as I type this, in his boxers on the couch.  Not at all).

I brought this dish to a bridal shower (a bridal shower with gluten-free cupcakes!) a couple of weeks ago, but cut the recipe into two halves, one with the sundried tomatoes and one without.  The bride, my future sister-in-law, doesn't like tomatoes, sundried or otherwise.  It was a hit, so I made it again for a birthday dinner, and again for a baby shower that I threw for my best friend.  Phew!  That's a total of four times in about 10 days.  You should make this too!  It's very very good on sliced baguette or crackers (gluten-free crackers if you're me).

Here we go...

8 oz. goat cheese
1 - 8 oz. brick cream cheese
1/3 cup pesto
1/3 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (the ones that are packed in oil in a jar)
Store-bought balsamic glaze (I use President's Choice because it comes in a squeezable container), for garnish
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts, for garnish
3 or 4 basil leaves, for garnish

Mix goat cheese and cream cheese together, using your hands or an electric hand mixer.  Divide the cheese mixture into thirds.

Take out a small bowl or dish that you will use as your 'mold' to give the spread some shape.  Line the bowl with plastic wrap.
A picture is worth a thousand words.  It was really hard for me to figure out how to describe this step for some reason.
Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture into the bowl and pack down.
Like this.
Top with a layer of sundried tomatoes.  Spread another 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top of the sundried tomato layer.  Top with the pesto.  Spread the final 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top of the pesto.  Press down to make sure that everything is compact, and then cover with more plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

To serve, turn the bowl upside down on top of a serving plate or platter.  Remove plastic wrap.
Top with walnuts or pine nuts, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and a few basil leaves.

Serve with crackers or crusty bread.  Enjoy!

Variations:  Add some finely diced garlic to the cream cheese / goat cheese mixture, add some herbs like oregano or Italian seasoning to the cream cheese / goat cheese mixture, add an extra layer of olive tapenade.  The world is your oyster (but maybe don't put oysters in this?)!!  Yum!

Recipe Source:  I made this once many years ago, but the recipe source is unknown (which makes me feel very old, and like my memory is going a little bit).  


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