PESTO & SUN-DRIED TOMATO TORTE
DAISY KING/MISS DAISY'S KITCHEN
3 8-oz packages cream cheese
3/4 c butter
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 c fresh basil leaves
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
2 to 3 T olive oil
1 t lemon juice
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/3 c oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1/3 c tomato paste
Toasted pine nuts
Blend two packages of cream cheese with the butter in a food processor and transfer it to a bowl. Chop the garlic in the processor. Add the basil, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. Add one-half of the remaining package of cream cheese and blend well. Transfer it to another bowl.
Chop the sun-dried tomatoes in the processor. Add the tomato paste and the remaining cream cheese. Blend well and reserve in the processor bowl.
Spray a ½ quart souffle dish with non-stick vegetable spray and line it with plastic wrap, leaving extra plastic wrap hanging over the edges. Spread a layer of the cream cheese and butter mixture in the bottom of the mold. Top with a layer of the pesto mixture. Add another layer of the cream cheese and butter mixture. Next a layer of the sun-dried tomato mixture. Repeat the layers until all of the ingredients are used. Cover the mold with the plastic wrap and chill for up to three days.
To serve, invert the mold onto a serving platter and peel away the plastic. Garnish the torte with sprigs of basil, grape tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts.
Chef's Note: This torte gets better with age. Make it two days in advance, and serve with crackers, baguette slices, crostini.
Yield: 20 servings