Sunday, January 24, 2010

Goat Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomato, & Pesto Torte

I am not able to make this appetizer nearly as pretty as the cookbook photo, but this is a delicious appetizer for any size gathering. This recipe is from the Bride and Groom First & Forever Cookbook, which is one of my favorites. The cookbook is great because many of the recipes are designed to serve two (instead of four or six or even eight, like most recipes). Serve this with toasted baguette or crackers of just about any variety.


Recipe Notes
This appetizer may be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated. If you have any left over, toss with pasta for a light dinner, top on a baked potato, or spread onto focaccia bread and top with grilled vegetables for a second appetizer. I've tried this the day after with pasta and some shrimp, and it was delicious.

  • 4 oz. goat cheese (one small log) at room temperature
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese (I use light) at room temperature
  • Coarse salt & black pepper
  • 3/4 c. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 c. homemade or bottled pesto
1. Stir together goat cheese and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Combine 1/4 c. cheese mixture with the sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, and vinegar in a separate bowl. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

3. Line a two-cup ramekin or small bowl with plastic wrap. Extend plastic over the sides of the container. Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray.

4. Layer 1/2 goat cheese mixture in the bottom of the container, followed by pesto, then tomato-cheese mixture. Top with the remaining goat cheese mixture.

5. Fold plastic wrap over the final cheese layer and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1.5 hours.

6. Invert onto a platter and peel off plastic wrap. Garnish with basil leaves if desired. Serve with crackers and/or toasted baguette.

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