Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New look for ...Layered Cheese Pesto Torte

Once and a while, I take a look at a favorite recipe and see if it is ready for a remodel... this one was! Layered cheese pesto spread and I have been friends for a long time. I first made it for a spring cooking class and used a tall flower pot to create it's shape. Get it? flower pot, spring? I thought it was cool at the time, don't laugh... . Now after making it for a few years, and years, it was due for a new look.
Originally the torte had thinner layers of the cheese mixture interspersed with the pesto layers and like I said, was molded in a taller cone shape. Re-styled with the pesto layer on top, the spread has a more dramatic look. Still popular at a party, the updated appetizer can make you popular too!
This recipe is for a large gathering and is very rich. Consider cutting the quantity in half if your having less then 25 guests or serving several other dishes.

Layered Cheese Pesto Torte
Ingredients:

½ lb. feta cheese
1 ½ lbs. Cream cheese
1 lbs. unsalted butter
30 ounce Pesto sauce, Prepared
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:
Strain prepared pesto over fridge overnight.
Bring cream cheese, butter and feta cheese to room temperature.
Beat cream cheese, butter and feta cheese until smooth, scraping occasionally from the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
Separate 3/4 of cheese mixture and set aside.
Add strained pesto to remaining 1/4 of cheese blend in mixer.
Add 1/4 cup of parmessan cheese.
Blend together until combined
Prepare a 10 inch by 2 inch round cake pan by placing a 24" square plastic wrap on bottom and up sides.
Put pesto cheese mixture in bottom of pan, spread evenly.
Allow to sit refrigerated 30 to 60 minutes to firm.
Layer the remaining cheese mixture over pesto, chill until set.
Turn out onto platter. Remove plastic, and garnish, serve with sliced baguette or crackers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Renee,
I worked for Dinner at 8 while I was in college! My uncle, Rene, and I worked many weekends with you during the 90s (95-97 ish). I learned so very much about great parties and great food and 15 years or so later, I STILL remember how AMAZING this Pesto Torte is! Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I will be using it at our next gathering! :)
Fondly,
Kimberly Downing
(Rene Hernandez's niece :)....)